Hello stewards! When you signed up to volunteer, you should have received a packet of papers and laminated cards designed to help you learn about being a steward and present information to the public. Some of these were created for you to read and study (how-to materials), and some are ideal for showing to the beach-goers you will meet (educational materials).
These documents are all about the stewarding job. They provide a simple overview of your purpose and some tips and information to help you be an effective ambassador for nesting shorebirds.
Background Information and Script — The most basic information you need to know about the stewarding program.
Important Numbers — Contact numbers for the program’s coordinators and relevant agencies.
People to Know — About the people you will meet as a shorebird steward.
Stewarding 101: How to Be a Great Bird Steward — A more detailed explanation of the steward’s job.
Questions You May Be Asked (And Answers) — Questions beach-goers might ask you, both bird-related and otherwise.
What to Bring — What items to bring to a stewarding session, and what items will be provided for you at the beach.
Example Lagoon Dialogue — A sample script for talking to visitors to the lagoon who are wading across to the Gulf. You’ll want to modify and personalize it, but the opening question, “Have you been here before” works well.
Example Gulf Dialogue — A sample script for talking to visitors to the lagoon who are wading across to the Gulf. You’ll want to personalize it and modify it depending on where exactly you are in relation to the colony and whether you have the scope or not.
When talking to beach-goers, it’s always handy to have a visual aid. As you talk to a beach-goer, it’s helpful to present them with a photograph or map of what you are talking about. This is especially true when you are working at the lagoon, where there won’t be nesting birds in view.
A Matter of Survival — An informative poster about beach-nesting birds in Collier County. Produced by Rookery Bay N.E.R.R.
Beach-nesting Shorebirds — A handout featuring color photos of beach-nesting species (not all species nest in Collier County) and tips for protecting them. Targeted at sea turtle monitors, but widely applicable. Produced by the Florida Shorebird Alliance.
Collier County Nesting Shorebirds — A handout featuring color photos of beach-nesting species in all stages of life–eggs, chick, and adult. Despite the title, not all species nest in Collier County. Reverse side has tips for protecting them. Great for showing people cute chicks. Targeted at sea turtle monitors, but widely applicable. Produced by the Florida Shorebird Alliance.
Laws Protecting Shorebirds — A run-down of the various federal, state, and municipal laws that apply to nesting shorebirds. Produced by Rookery Bay N.E.R.R.
Map of Tigertail Lagoon and Big Marco Pass Critical Wildlife Area — Aerial image of relevant parts of Marco Island. Very useful for showing visitors where the birds are nesting.
Nesting Bird Map — A map showing areas posted for nesting birds in Collier County. Created by Rookery Bay N.E.R.R.