Sarasota News Leader

09/21/12

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Sarasota News Leader September 21, 2012 Siesta Seen She and her husband, Bob, are among the dedicated group of Sarasota Audubon vol- unteers who watch over the nesting pairs and keep eyes peeled for hatching chicks. This summer saw Tropical Storm Debby and an array of natural predators wipe out nests. With September marking the end of the nesting season for the tiny birds, Luckner finally had some good news for SKA mem- bers on Sept. 3: "One [chick] has made it, and I believe he flew this morning." The news was met with a chorus of "Aww- www" from the audience. "Chick patrol" volunteers consider their work done when a baby bird fledges, or flies on its own. Longboat Key had just one chick fledge this season, too, Luckner reported. Still, she pointed out, "That's better than some years." Wildlife experts have reported the aver- age success rate in the state of Florida is 0.72 births per nesting pair, she added. "So we've exceeded that, at least for this year." THOSE DOGGONE DOGS Although SKA members, law enforcement officers and beach access signage emphasize that it is a violation of county ordinance to have dogs on Siesta Public Beach, people continue to ignore the warnings, Luckner reported during the SKA meeting. Not only do people come onto the beach with dogs on leashes, she said, but recently, "a lot of dogs" have been observed running loose. Nonetheless, Sheriff's deputies remain dili- gent in responding to complaints, she said. Just that week, Luckner said, a woman called the Sheriff's Office to report an own- er with a dog at Access 10. A deputy was waiting at the entrance to the access when the person and pooch prepared to leave. "Thank you so much," Luckner told Sgt. Os- borne. Page 77

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