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Date of Issue: July 14, 2005

Bird nests flooded, hopes high for return
Bird neat area
Skimmers fly over the dunes where least terns and laughing gulls also await the brush of Hurricane Dennis on Anna Maria Island. Islander Photo: Nancy Ambrose
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The shore bird nesting area on the Island's north beach was about two-thirds under water after Dennis passed, virtually wiping out one of the state's premier nesting areas.     

"All of the area where the least terns and black skimmers nested was under water Monday," said Nancy Ambrose of Anna Maria Island, who is active in the Manatee Audubon Society. 

She said she saw no least terns or chicks when she toured the area after Hurricane Dennis. She did see more than 200 black skimmers and maybe 80 royal terns and some laughing gulls taking shelter in the dunes.

The area, which Audubon posted to protect the nests and nesters, had been one of the most important nesting areas known in Florida. "We are hopeful that after the water recedes this will again become an important nesting area," she said.