Florida Coastal Office Ecotourism – Viewing Rookery Islands PSA

Florida Coastal Office Ecotourism – Viewing Rookery Islands PSA


“music plays” So these rookery islands are very special,
we do have a few in some of our aquatic preserves, such as Estero Bay but not as many as we used
to. One of the biggest threats that we have to these rookeries is people actually. These
birds actually need to spend their time sitting on those nests, feeding those chicks and spending
that energy to actually raise up those chicks so that they can become healthy adults and
continue the cycle. If those adults are being flushed off by people getting too close, then
they’re not going to be able to complete their life cycle. I think it’s also important to note that
you can actually see these birds at a safe distance without actually impacting them,
without actually disturbing them. A safe distance, I would say, would probably be at least 300
feet. The average person with some of the technology that you have today, with some
of these digital zoom lenses, at 300 feet you can easily see these birds. And you can
also see them with binoculars. The rule of thumb is if you get close enough that all
of a sudden birds are leaving the island, you’ve gotten way too close. Getting a picture
of a fuzzy, cute chick on the nest is simply not worth the life of that bird which you
may be endangering or ending. Just a few minutes of exposure in the hot Florida sun can actually
kill these chicks and eggs. They’re not actually sitting on these eggs in Florida
to keep them warm, they’re sitting on them to keep them cool. So we want these birds
to be taking care of their families, raising up chicks and not worrying about us as people. “music plays”

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