I wanted to send out some more updates on our nests, and answers to some common questions I have been receiving.
First, the DeSoto nest, J7, has taken another predator hit. Saturday tracks were found around the nest (looking to belong to a largish dog, maybe?) and eggs and shells were found scattered all over. It’s hard to say how much is left of this nest, but we just have to continue monitoring it as we do all of the others. Please remember, when a nest predation is found, report to me immediately, send photos if possible, and I will add it to the data sheet. Count as many eggs as possible, rebury these with the nest and fill back in where necessary. I am waiting to hear back to confirm that this is the proper protocol, and I will update again if it is not. Also, if a nest has been predated, you should not dig into the nest further to see if/how many eggs remain. We do not want to do further damage or disturb the remaining eggs. Simply cover it all back up.
Hand in hand with the predation is the new larger screen that we “unveiled” last week on J9. If I get the go-ahead from Mike and Dianne, I would like us to put these on some of the other nests as well. I will send out details on date and timing if we are approved.
J-1 is continuing to be monitored. We are on day 58 now, and should be seeing signs of hatching soon! I need volunteers to continue to go out and check for indentations in the center and scratching sounds. We thought there might have been scratching last night, but checking late this morning it is quiet again, and no indentation. Keep checking it, preferable earlier in the morning and later in the evening when it is cooler out and they would be more active. I would like someone to go out this evening if possible (let me know if you can). We won’t need nest sitters until we have scratching or indentation noted.
J-2 (just west of condos) and J-3 (west of campground) will be at day 50 this Friday. We can casually begin checking these as well. Fort Morgan had the earliest nests (first was May 15, second May 18), and these both just hatched this past weekend, putting them at days 64 and 60 respectively. Looks like we may be looking at average to late hatchings this year, based on that trend so far.
Thanks, again, for being such a great, hard-working team this season!!
Team Leader, Dauphin Island