Hancock County to do battle over nesting areas - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hancock County to do battle over nesting areas

Residents attempt to scare away the birds with frightening sounds and inflatable scarecrows on the beach. (Photo source: WLOX) Residents attempt to scare away the birds with frightening sounds and inflatable scarecrows on the beach. (Photo source: WLOX)
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Least terns are about to nest and bird advocates are hoping this year will be better than last year to protect the first recorded colony in Hancock County.

But, there may be another battle with homeowners over property rights when they meet with the Hancock County Board of Supervisors at 9 a.m. Monday.

Supporters of the birds want to see the same kind of cooperation in Hancock County as they have in Harrison County; where large sections of beach are dedicated to the federally protected species.

“We have the largest colony of nesting terns in the country,” said resident and supporter Elizabeth Calvit. “And I don't know if we have a good set up with the beaches and they just like it. From a tourism point of view or a from a birder’s point of view, it’s just really interesting.”

But, the birds have a not so warm welcome on North Beach Boulevard.

The repeated recording of predator birds scream from a neighbor’s yard while inflatable scarecrows and spinning wheels on the beach try to chase away the terns.

The quarter mile stretch of beach in Hancock County where the birds are about to nest is directly across from several homes. Some say that protective fencing for the birds will prevent residents direct access to the water's edge.

Regardless of the argument about who has the rights to put up the structures on the beach, least tern experts say the distraction isn’t going to work.

“Least terns aren’t going to be scared by this,” Calvit said. “Once they’re here, they’re here and we just have to agree to share be beach with them for 90 days.”

Sarah Pacyna with the Audubon Center in Moss Point says she has proven tools to relocate the terns that include specialized decoys, and audio playback systems, that attract rather than frighten.

“These tools probably won’t work to move a bird a couple of miles,” Pacyna said. “But a couple hundred feet, definitely.”

According to Pacyna, having the terns makes economic sense.

“There’s going to be a lot more resources coming in for birds over the next couple of years,” Pacyna said. "That’s why we’re seeking to establish this partnership now so that we can really put resources into Hancock County.”

Lacy Lawler is another resident and advocate for the birds.

“They are part of our environment. They are part of our ecosystem, whether we like it or not,” Lawler added. "They deserve to be protected, and they deserve to have somewhere that they can come every year during their migration, and nest.”

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • WLOX Investigation: Retired Gulfport Firefighter raises concerns over morale in the Department

    WLOX Investigation: Retired Gulfport Firefighter raises concerns over morale in the Department

    Thursday, June 21 2018 10:47 PM EDT2018-06-22 02:47:02 GMT
    That incident led to a police report, a city investigation and a lot of rumors about the inner workings of the Gulfport Fire Department. (Photo source: WLOX)That incident led to a police report, a city investigation and a lot of rumors about the inner workings of the Gulfport Fire Department. (Photo source: WLOX)
    That incident led to a police report, a city investigation and a lot of rumors about the inner workings of the Gulfport Fire Department. (Photo source: WLOX)That incident led to a police report, a city investigation and a lot of rumors about the inner workings of the Gulfport Fire Department. (Photo source: WLOX)

    Gulfport's Mayor and Chief Administrator say Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt has their full confidence, and they've closed the book on an altercation two months ago between the chief and a firefighter. Now, a recently retired firefighter who says he witnessed the altercation has come forward not only to share his perspective of the incident but also on what he calls a serious need to hire more firefighters.

    More >>

    Gulfport's Mayor and Chief Administrator say Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt has their full confidence, and they've closed the book on an altercation two months ago between the chief and a firefighter. Now, a recently retired firefighter who says he witnessed the altercation has come forward not only to share his perspective of the incident but also on what he calls a serious need to hire more firefighters.

    More >>
  • Car ends up in ditch after short chase in Gulfport

    VIDEO: Car ends in ditch after short chase in Gulfport

    VIDEO: Car ends in ditch after short chase in Gulfport

    Thursday, June 21 2018 9:35 PM EDT2018-06-22 01:35:50 GMT
    A minor accident on Highway 90 suddenly became a short chase through Gulfport earlier this evening. (Photo source: WLOX)A minor accident on Highway 90 suddenly became a short chase through Gulfport earlier this evening. (Photo source: WLOX)

    A minor accident on Highway 90 suddenly became a short chase through Gulfport earlier this evening. 

    More >>

    A minor accident on Highway 90 suddenly became a short chase through Gulfport earlier this evening. 

    More >>
  • Preparations for 'Scrapin' The Coast' continue

    Preparations for 'Scrapin' The Coast' continue

    Thursday, June 21 2018 8:33 PM EDT2018-06-22 00:33:26 GMT

    Scrapin The Coast is almost here, and everyone's getting ready for a weekend full of cool cars, live events, and fun in the sun. 

    More >>

    Scrapin The Coast is almost here, and everyone's getting ready for a weekend full of cool cars, live events, and fun in the sun. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly