Black skimmers have increased in number and show signs of a more established population on the Vineyard in the future after a rocky start, BiodiversityWorks reports. The birds began nesting on-Island in 2010 at Norton Point beach in Edgartown, but no chicks survived to maturity that year. In 2011, when the persistent species tried their luck again, a hunting raptor forced them to abandon their nests. Finally, in 2012, four pairs of skimmers fledged chicks. At first, the skimmer population on Martha’s Vineyard grew slowly each year. But from 2018 to 2022, growth skyrocketed from 12 pairs to 22.
A team from BiodiversityWorks has been tracking the Island’s skimmer population by banding chicks. The birds are making their way south for the winter but the growing population and increased number of chicks surviving makes monitors hopeful about their return next year.