"Lifeguard Station" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Gulf Islands

Ospreys Need Your Help

brochure Gulf Islands - Ospreys Need Your Help
National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Gulf Islands National Seashore Florida & Mississippi Ospreys Need Your Help! Osprey adult on nest Osprey nest and raise their young at Gulf Islands. Disturbance by visitors can frighten the parent osprey off the nest. Consequently, their eggs and chicks can be killed by the exposure to the hot sun or predators like crows and gulls. You can help protect osprey by doing the following: Stay more than 300 yards away from osprey nests during the March – July nesting season. Osprey nests are often 4 feet by 3 feet in size, appearing like large “piles” of sticks in the tops of trees. Ospreys are brown and white hawk-like birds with a six-foot wing span. They are also called “sea hawks.” If an osprey is whistling sharply and circling overhead it is trying to protect its nest and the area should be avoided. Respect posted “Area Closed” signs and stay away from these areas. Thank you for helping to protect the wildlife of these fragile wilderness islands. For more information, please call 228-230-4100 or visit www.nps.gov/guis. National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Gulf Islands National Seashore Florida & Mississippi Help Our Shorebirds! Dan Pancamo Photography Least Terns nesting at Gulf Islands National Seashore Several species of shorebirds nest and raise their chicks at Gulf Islands every year. Human disturbance can cause their nesting efforts to fail. Shorebirds nest in simple shallow depressions on the open beach. Their sand colored eggs and camoflaged chicks are easily destroyed. You can help protect shorebirds by doing the following: Look and listen for nesting birds. Birds that are circling overhead, repeatedly calling and diving are trying to protect their nests. These areas should be avoided. Respect posted “Area Closed” signs. Eggs and chicks blend in with the sand; you may not see them and could step on the eggs and chicks. Make sure you tell your children where the closed areas are located. Petit Bois and Horn Islands are closed to pets year-round. While visiting other islands, pets must be on a leash no longer than six feet. Report any bird nesting activity to park rangers. Thank you for helping to protect these special nesting areas. For some species, it is the only nesting site in Mississippi. For more information, call 228-230-4100 or visit www.nps.gov/guis.

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