Want to help protect Delaware’s piping plovers (listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in 1986) and other beachnesting birds? Make a difference by joining DNREC’s team as a bird monitor. A training session takes place Saturday, May 14th from 10am to noon at Cape Henlopen State Park’s Biden Environmental Training Center in Lewes. The session will feature a slideshow, discussion on the monitoring program and how volunteers can help ensure that beachnesting shorebirds are not disturbed while raising their families.
Weather permitting, the group will then venture out to the Point at Cape Henlopen to look for piping plovers and other shorebirds likely to be feeding on the tidal flats. Birding scopes and binoculars will be available for volunteers to use, but you should bring your own if you have them.
Preregistration is encouraged but not mandatory. Let the fee booth attendant know you are there for the training and your park entrance fees will be waived.
“With the strong storms that hit Delaware’s beaches over the winter, a lot of new habitat for beachnesting birds has opened up. It will be more important than ever that we have volunteer assistance in protecting their nesting habitat so that they can take full advantage of this opportunity to further increase their populations,” said Wildlife Biologist Matthew Bailey of the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Beachnester Monitoring Program.
“Volunteers are critical to our protection efforts. When stationed at the boundaries of the nesting areas, volunteers can help explain facts to passersby about the breeding birds and the importance of keeping closed areas free of human disturbance,” Bailey said. “Without volunteers to supplement the coverage our staff provides, many people might never have the chance to better understand how humans can make a difference in the breeding success of beachnesting birds.”
Cape Henlopen State Park’s Biden Environmental Training Center is located at 15099 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes, DE 19958.