Bird lovers help protect nesting grounds on Biloxi beach - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Bird lovers help protect nesting grounds on Biloxi beach

These volunteers are not just here to be guards, they're also educating folks about these birds. These volunteers are not just here to be guards, they're also educating folks about these birds.
Those volunteers said many beach goers don't realize they're walking into a nesting site, nor do they understand how their actions can hurt the birds. Those volunteers said many beach goers don't realize they're walking into a nesting site, nor do they understand how their actions can hurt the birds.
They're also educating folks about these birds, so hopefully more people will learn to care and appreciate what nature has to offer. They're also educating folks about these birds, so hopefully more people will learn to care and appreciate what nature has to offer.
Audubon Mississippi officials said there are five colonies along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and they all have warning signs asking people to stay away. Audubon Mississippi officials said there are five colonies along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and they all have warning signs asking people to stay away.
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

If you were at the beach on Saturday in Harrison or Hancock County, it was hard to miss all the security out there. No, not law enforcement, Audubon Mississippi volunteers were helping monitor and protect bird nesting sites on the beach.

Instead of hanging out at the Biloxi beach this holiday weekend, Melisa Gage spent Saturday guarding a one mile stretch of the coast so people wouldn't disturb the shorebirds that have made the area their home.

"I believe we are supposed to be stewards out here, and we are kind of guarding the nest," Gage said.

She was one of several people who signed up to help the environment. Those volunteers said many beach goers don't realize they're walking into a nesting site, nor do they understand how their actions can hurt the birds.

"They're nesting here, and they are mating. It is very important to protect them, because not only can the birds leave their nest and leave their babies, the person walking toward them can get attacked by predator birds," a volunteer said.

Audubon Mississippi officials said there are five colonies along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and they all have warning signs asking people to stay away. The bird sites are mostly used by Black Skimmers and Least Terns during the summer months.

"Katrina wiped out about half the population, and this group of Least Turns comes back every year. We are just trying to provide the habitat so they can come back and restore the population. Right now, they are of concern, but they are not engendered. We are trying to bring back the numbers, so they can enjoy living like the rest of us," volunteer Grace Aaron said.

These volunteers are not just here to be guards, they're also educating folks about these birds, so hopefully more people will learn to care and appreciate what nature has to offer.

"These birds are very important to the community because of ecotourism. We have a large birding community. We have people that come from all over just to see these birds. Our birding community is huge because of all the costal birds that are here, so that is why it is very important," Volunteer Coordinator Amanda Odom said.

There are two sites permanently designated as nesting areas along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. If you would like to volunteer, please call Audubon Mississippi Volunteer Coordinator Amanda Odom at (228) 355- 1834.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    Friday, April 28 2017 5:45 PM EDT2017-04-28 21:45:21 GMT
    (Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)(Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly