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Wildlife stressed by storm

By Staff | Jul 6, 2012

Parent morning doves sit on a walkway railing at Blind Pass Condominium after losing their nest during Tropical Storm Debby.

The wind and rain associated with Tropical Storm Debby last week interrupted and inconvenienced virtually everyone on Sanibel Island. Including the wildlife.

Residents at Blind Pass Condominium noted strange behavior and pattern changes by animals in and around their complex. Animals tend to take their young everywhere in times of stress rather than leaving them in the nest.

“A mother armadillo and her baby had a very hard time crossing Bowman’s Beach Road where five cars and 10 bikes were waiting for them,” said Sylvia Guarino. “Later, a baby alligator was trying to get across the road and a mama raccoon and her baby tried to cross by the fire station.”

She said a baby morning dove, nearly newborn, was found near its nest which had been blown away. The dove family had nested on top of one of several fire extinguishers located at the complex.

“For some reason the doves like to build their nests above our fire extinguishers,” said condo manager Tracy Brunner. “We have several around the property and two or three of them were blown away.”

PHOTO PROVIDED Handyman Adam Carter begins building a "hurricane proof" nest for a family of morning doves at Blind Pass Condominium.

Only one, however, was still attended by the doves. The baby dove was found, shaking, on the walkway next to its sibling, which had died. The parent doves sat nearby on the railing.

“We called CROW to find out what to do,” Guarino said. “They said because of the weather they were getting so many calls about abandoned baby birds they couldn’t keep up with it. They said the best chance of survival was to try to build the bird another nest.”

Adam Carter, a staff handyman at the complex, set to building a “hurricane proof” nest suggested by CROW. He attached the wood nest to the wall above the fire extinguisher where it had been, put some twigs in it and the dove family now occupies the nest.

The little dove was named “Lucky” by residents of building G where the new nest is located between condo units.