The Friends of Tigertail recently hosted their seventh Breakfast and Bird event entitled, “Welcome Back Our Northern Nesters.” Without a doubt, the birds are always the main attraction. However, the success of this event can be attributed, in particular, to three amazing ladies: Mother Nature, Susan Kubat and Fran Huxley.
During the event, Mother Nature provided glorious weather and a remarkable array of shorebirds. Kubat and Huxley were the catalysts to a delightful morning addressing the migratory patterns of our northern nesters and their return to our shore. FOT is so fortunate to have these naturalists as part of its organization. They make bird watching delightful, as well as, informative. The ladies complement each other in their styles of presentation and in their respective areas of expertise.
Huxley focused on physical attributes of the lagoon’s wading and shorebirds. She addressed bird size, bill shape, feather and leg coloration. Kubat concentrated on behavioral characteristics as an aid to identification. She referenced a bird’s patternof movement and gait. Before initiating the shoreline walk, the women gave a brief presentation — utilizing charts — to explain the incredible journey our migratory birds undertake yearly as they return here for the winter.
The 27 attendees then proceeded to the lagoon edge to implement the newly learned skill set of bird identification. Most participants came equipped with binoculars to appreciate the subtleties of the various species. Huxley and Kubat’s enthusiasm was infectious; they were genuinely thrilled to share each new discovery.
It was apparent that participants were engaged in the identification process and pleased whenever they succeeded in implementing the learned criteria. The birding group identified seven different species of shorebirds, including black-bellied, Wilson’s and semi-palmated plovers, western and least sandpiper, short-billed dowitcher and willets. It was a remarkable day with 18 different species noted. Also included in these groups were a variety of herons, ibis, pelicans, osprey and gulls. Fran and Susan captured their audience with their genuine loveand respect of these remarkable creatures. They make you want to come back for more!
In fact, after the morning walk, many of the attendees signed up for Friends of Tigertail Beach Membership. Joe Parisi, membership chairperson, offered a complimentary FOT cap with a 3-year membership of $50. A year membership is $20. It was remarkable to watch the day’s “birders” leave the beach proudly sporting their FOT caps, underscoring the support of the unique natural resources of Tigertail Beach.
If you are interested in participating in FOT’s next events, please mark your calendars: Sat., Jan. 10, Breakfast and Birds and Sat., Feb. 21 Discover Tigertail, an interactive family event.
The Friends of Tigertail is a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to the stewardship of the unique, rich natural gem that comprises Tigertail Beach and Sand Dollar Spit and to educating the public about these places. If you are interested in joining the organization, please contact Joe Parisi at 781-864-2392. For more information, please visit the website: www.friendsoftigertail.com.