|A volunteer carries an eider shelter on South Penguin Island|
SAM President Linda Bailet checks old eider shelters for signs of nesting.
On a calm afternoon in late September, Carmanville Councillor and new SAM President Linda Bailet accompanied local fishermen and residents of Musgrave Harbour and surrounding area on a mission to install 20 new eider shelters. Nest shelters, which were built locally with funding provided by Ducks Unlimited Canada NL, have been installed by volunteers and DUC NL staff for several years, and both North and South Penguin Island are now host to dozens of nest boxes. Common eiders nest on the ground under low, shrubby trees called tuckamore or in thick grass near the shore. Constructed shelters protect nesting eiders from predation when this natural shelter is not available.
|Eider shelters old and new, South Penguin Island|
|A peek inside an old eider shelter reveals eider egg shell fragments.|
Organizations like Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Sea Duck Joint Venture support research programs to study these birds, but there is still a lot to learn about their migration routes, characteristics of the best breeding spots and how population trends are changing over time.
|Volunteers carry eider nest shelters on South Penguin Island|
Sea Duck Joint Venture
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Carmanville Wetlands Nature Trail