PIPL

PIPL

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Cats Harass Wildlife

Cats are often harassing or harming wildlife even if they are not intending to or successful in making a kill. Here we see a cat local to one of our beaches chasing and attacking a vole, as photographed last fall.



Cats are not a part of "nature", and they are a non-native, invasive species that plays no role in our ecosystem. They are not a part of the food web, and serve no purpose but to destroy. Cats have caused the extinction of numerous species throughout the world while greatly impacting others. Native snakes, birds of prey, and other mammalian predators are not comparable to introduced domestic cats. If we are to let nature be nature, then we must keep cats indoors where they are also safe from harm. Vehicles, ticks and diseases, poisons and toxins from chemicals and plants, larger predators, vile humans, weather and the elements - cats left to wander alone outdoors face countless threats and a have a dramatically shorter, more perilous life. I love cats, and I once again hope that you keep your family members safe in your home while protecting our environment.

Scott Kruitbosch
AAfCW Volunteer Coordinator

Monday, June 7, 2021

Cats Kill Wildlife

People love to argue with me that their beloved animals never harm birds. If a house cat can do this with a cottontail, what do you think they would do to hatchling American Oystercatcher, or a Piping Plover on a nest? 

I've had cats my entire life and love them dearly, and for their own safety as well as that of the environment, they should be indoors at all times. They cannot help that they are predators, but you can help them and our wildlife survive.

Scott Kruitbosch
AAfCW Volunteer Coordinator

Friday, June 4, 2021

Piping Plover Food

This photo of a Piping Plover along the wrack line in Connecticut was taken in April 2020 before any nesting was occurring. Most of the media I take for our focal species tends to come primarily outside of any nesting period, and not when the birds are running around with hatchlings and fledglings. Even we as caring monitors and staff with years or decades of experience are still a disturbance, and we ask everyone to please keep this in mind.

What I wanted to focus on here was the food in the air! Piping Plovers devour all sorts of invertebrates along the shore. In this case you can see it targeting flies - the same flies humans often complain about. We should be grateful to these great little shorebirds, and we should leave the wrack in place as we share the shore with our helpful friends.

Scott Kruitbosch
AAfCW Volunteer Coordinator

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

What's wrong with this picture?

It's time to play "what's wrong with this picture?" - and one hopes the answer is rather obvious. 

Abiding by local laws meant for public health and human safety also helps protect and support wildlife and conservation while respecting our neighbors. Sadly, our volunteers have staff have so many similar photos taken in 2021.

Monday, May 31, 2021

AAfCW 2021 Field Update #5

Good morning!

It has been a tough few days. Cold, windy, and rainy beaches have been largely devoid of beachgoers this holiday weekend, but the birds that make their homes on the shore have had a difficult time due to significant coastal flooding. Numerous nests have been lost to the Long Island Sound. String fencing and exclosures have been damaged or destroyed in some locations. Staff is working to take care of these situations when it is safe. 

In some areas, agitated pairs of birds were still guarding territory or destroyed nests. We did not want to add to their stress to try to fix something that would only be damaged again as tidal flooding occurred repeatedly on May 29 and 30. Repair work and more monitoring will be completed as the weather clears today and throughout the week. Please let us and CT DEEP know directly if you see damage, have nest losses, or new nests found - especially outside of fencing.

If you do not see any of our target species (Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, and starting in May, Least Tern and Common Tern) please submit data regardless. Your trip information, hours, lack of birds, disturbances, observations of weather or people - all of that is vital to know. This is especially true as staff starts the annual June Piping Plover census across every potential beach habitat in the state of Connecticut. Please do report all four species, not only Piping Plovers, whenever you see them - just as you would plovers.

All birds hatched so far this year are still hatchlings. None have fledged and none are juveniles. Below are observations on our beaches as submitted from noon on May 20 through 12:00am today, Monday, May 31. Reports of data and information prior to May 20 were received but are excluded from listing below. Please try to submit data and information on the same day as your monitoring, or at most a day or two later. Information received weeks after a monitoring session is far less valuable to us in our 24/7 efforts. Thank you!

Piping Plover:
4 pairs, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 5/21
1 pair, 7 adults, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 5/21
1 adult at Long Beach on 5/21
1 adult at Griswold Point on 5/22
3 pairs at Long Beach on 5/23
8 pairs, 5 adults, 8 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/23
1 pair, 1 hatchling, 1 nest at Mile Creek on 5/23
6 adults, 5 hatchlings at Milford Point on 5/24
2 adults, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 5/24
2 pairs, 2 adults at Griswold Point on 5/24
7 adults, 7 hatchlings, 5 nests at Milford Point on 5/24
4 pairs, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 5/25
16 adults, 6 hatchlings, 6 nests at Milford Point on 5/25
5 pairs, 2 adults, 3 nests at Long Beach on 5/25
4 pairs, 13 adults, 4 hatchlings at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/25
5 pairs, 4 adults, 7 hatchlings, 8 nests at Milford Point on 5/25
1 pair, 2 adults, 3 hatchlings, 1 nest at Milford Point on 5/27
2 pairs, 12 adults, 3 hatchlings, 3 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/27
4 adults, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 5/28

American Oystercatcher:
2 pairs, 1 adult at Bluff Point on 5/21
1 pair, 1 nest at Griswold Point on 5/21
2 pairs, 6 adults, 2 nests at Bluff Point on 5/21
1 pair, 2 adults at Griswold Point on 5/22
1 adult, 1 nest at Long Beach on 5/23
2 adults at Silver Sands State Park on 5/23
1 pair at Fort Trumbull on 5/23
7 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/24
1 adult at Milford Point on 5/24
1 pair, 2 hatchlings, 1 nest at Bluff Point on 5/24
1 pair at Griswold Point on 5/24
1 pair, 1 adult at Milford Point on 5/24
2 pairs, 3 hatchlings at Bluff Point on 5/25
5 adults, 1 nest at Milford Point on 5/25
1 pair at Long Beach on 5/25
5 pairs, 4 adults, 2 nests at Milford Point on 5/25
3 pairs, 1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/25
5 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/27
1 adult at Bluff Point on 5/28

Least Tern:
2 adults at Bluff Point on 5/21
5 pairs, 2 adults at Griswold Point on 5/21
1 pair, 25 adults at Long Beach on 5/21
26 adults at Griswold Point on 5/22
6 adults at Long Beach on 5/23
17 pairs, 14 adults, 17 nests at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/23
24 adults, 1 nest at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/24
5 adults at Milford Point on 5/24
1 pair, 2 adults at Milford Point on 5/24
19 adults at Milford Point on 5/25
2 pairs, 17 adults at Long Beach on 5/25
18 pairs, 40 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/25
50 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/27
2 pairs, 8 adults at Bluff Point on 5/28

Common Tern:
1 pair, 2 adults at Bluff Point on 5/21
2 pairs, 2 adults at Milford Point on 5/24
2 adults at Milford Point on 5/25
2 pairs at Milford Point on 5/25
8 pairs, 30 adults at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/25
1 adult at Sandy/Morse Points on 5/27
1 adult, 1 nest at Milford Point on 5/28

Thanks again!