Dead Neck/Sampson’s Island 2016 Bird Report

COURTESY OF THREE BAYS PRESERVATION Dredge surveying on Dead Neck Sampson's Island.

Dredge surveying on Dead Neck Sampson’s Island.

BARNSTABLE – Three Bays Preservation and Mass Audubon co-manage Dead Neck/Sampson’s Island and are working together to preserve the fragile environment and protect the birds that nest there.

As part of that effort, Mass Audubon produces an annual Coastal Waterbird Program Field Summary.

Compared to 2015, the number of Piping Plovers decreased by 13 percent.

With six fledglings, this year’s rate increased slightly, from 0.75 chicks per pair to 0.86 per pair.

Hatching success was reduced primarily by avian predation and storm overwash.

Thirty pairs of Least Terns nested on the tip of Sampson’s Island and due to gull predation, only five birds fledged.

As was the case last year, there were no American Oystercatchers, likely due to the lack of suitable habitat.

Three Bays Preservation and Audubon monitors were present throughout the season to inform beachgoers about the birds and ways to protect the habitat.

Both groups are awaiting approvals from state and federal agencies to begin the planned dredging and restoration of the island.

The groups hope that the work will greatly increase the number of birds that thrive on the island by building new, much-needed habitat.

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