Why do we slow down on the bridge?

Odds are if you’ve come over the Navarre Beach Causeway in the last few months for some fun in the gulf coast sun, you’ve noticed traffic slows down right at the entrance to the beach.

So, why is everybody moving like molasses? It’s for the birds!

This time of year, our nesting shorebirds are in town, and the sandy sides of our beach bridge are the perfect place for them to nest, flat and open, right near the shoreline. Two species nest in this area each summer.

Black skimmers are the bigger of our nesting birds and are listed as threatened by state law. These awkward looking fellows appear to be wearing suits, and they have an unusually shaped beak that resembles a blunt pair of scissors. This design is perfect for skimming the surface of the water with their bottom jaw, then snapping shut on tasty fish. Their long-legged, spotted offspring can be seen by onlookers that give the nesting colony a little space. They’re very cute.

Accompanying the skimmers are our least terns, a much smaller shore dweller that is listed as threatened by state law. These tiny birds sound a bit like flying dog toys as they squeak to one another. Mostly white in color, they and their chicks are excellent at hiding along the ground of the nesting area. Keen eyes with a good camera zoom or binoculars can spot their speckled chicks in the nesting area.

While protective fencing typically keeps the chicks out of harms way, slowing down on the bridge prevents collisions with the adults that fly low around the bridge. It also offers a chance for passengers in the car to see the nesting area up close.

Slowing down on the bridge for the short nesting span impacts drive time by a few seconds. So, take a moment to slow down and get a peak of our cute chicks before they migrate back down to South America, then enjoy the rest of your vacay on our beautiful shores! Book your stay today at NavarreListings.com.

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