Sunday, July 15, 2018
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  • Tampabay.com - Reporting with a camera

A look at the new baby birds on Three Rooker Bar

The beaches are covered with baby birds from terns, black skimmers, gulls and a small colony of least terns, the only known colony nesting on islands in north Pinellas.

“The first gull and tern eggs were found in April,” says Dan Larremore, an Environmental Specialist with the Florida Park Service at Honeymoon Island State Park, who has been monitoring the nesting activity on Three Rooker Bar.

“That would account for the flight capable juveniles were seeing now,” he adds. “The first chicks were seen in June.

Chick rearing should go on for another month. We have roughly 5000 pairs of laughing gull, 500 pairs of royal tern, 100 pairs of sandwich tern, 200 pairs of black skimmers, 50 pairs of least tern, and 3 pairs of American oystercatchers.

An amazing colony for a crowded place like Pinellas!” Larremore would like to remind boaters to leave dogs home, or use Honeymoon Island for doggy beach breaks.

About a half dozen stewards, volunteers from the local Audubon chapter, stay on the island weekends and holidays reminding people to stay away from the nesting areas, which are closed, and to not let dogs loose on the island.

Honeymoon Island Park ranger and Environmental Specialist with Florida Park Service Dan Larremore places signs on each end of a 450 foot long section of the west side of Three Rooker Bar, back in April, 2018. [Jim Damaske | Times]
Honeymoon Island Park ranger and Environmental Specialist with Florida Park Service Dan Larremore places a sign, one of several, on each end of a 450 foot long section of the west side of Three Rooker back in April, 2018, in preparation for the area being closed off to visitors. [Jim Damaske | Times]
A colony of terns have selected a nesting area on Three Rooker Bar back in April, 2018. [Jim Damaske | Times]
A royal tern chick explores away from it's nest area on Three Rooker Bar, an island off north Pinellas. [Jim Damaske | Times]
A passing immature cormorant spends time on the beach with some royal tern babies on Three Rooker Bar, an island off north Pinellas. [Jim Damaske | Times]
A royal tern takes a bath from a small wave on Three Rooker Bar, an island off north Pinellas. [Jim Damaske | Times]
A laughing gull takes off next to an immature laughing gull off Three Rooker Bar, an island off north Pinellas. [Jim Damaske | Times]
A least tern sits on eggs on Three Rooker Bar, an island off north Pinellas. [Jim Damaske | Times]
A royal tern parent shields it's baby from the sun on Three Rooker Bar, an island off north Pinellas. [Jim Damaske | Times]
Various ages of royal tern babies explore the beach on Three Rooker Bar, an island off north Pinellas. [Jim Damaske | Times]
A least tern parent feeds a fish to one of it's two babies on Three Rooker Bar, an island off north Pinellas. [Jim Damaske | Times]
A baby royal tern explores the beach while an adult flies in with a fish for it's offspring on Three Rooker Bar, an island off north Pinellas. [Jim Damaske | Times]
A baby royal tern explores the waters edge on Three Rooker Bar, an island off north Pinellas. [Jim Damaske | Times]
Immature laughing gulls float in the water off Three Rooker Bar, an island off north Pinellas,. [Jim Damaske | Times]
Black skimmers and their baby on Three Rooker Bar, an island off north Pinellas. [Jim Damaske | Times]
Least tern babies with a parent hide in the grass on Three Rooker Bar, an island off north Pinellas. [Jim Damaske | Times]

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