Farmingville, NY – Recently, staff from the Town of Brookhaven Division of Environmental Protection and Audubon NY posted signs at South Shore islands alerting the public to their fragile nature and noting that it is illegal to disturb nesting birds. The islands serve as a natural breeding place for a variety of colonial nesting waterbird species, including herring gull, great black-backed gull, lesser terns, glossy ibis, great egrets, herons and ducks. The Town Code generally restricts entry on to John Boyles Island, East Island, West Island, New Made Island and Carter's Island during the colonial waterbird breeding season between mid-May and mid-August. Pictured at left are Shelby Casas from Audubon NY and Nicole Pocchiare, Town of Brookhaven Environmental Educator. At right are a nest of Herring Gull eggs.Supervisor Ed Romaine said, “Our Town of Brookhaven environmental staff takes great pride in their stewardship of our natural resources and they are dedicated to preserve and protect these sensitive wildlife habitats. If you come across a nesting place, please keep your distance and do not disturb the site or any animals raising their young.”The Town of Brookhaven owns a number of islands in north shore harbors and south shore bays that are important wildlife habitats While boats cruising along the shoreline do not generally disrupt the bird colonies, introducing dogs to the site can cause significant damage, so it is especially important that no dogs be brought to the islands. The damage is not always obvious; one problem is that when birds that are disturbed leave their eggs or nestlings, they are very vulnerable to predators including the gulls that nest on the island. For more information about the Town’s environmental efforts, go to the Town website.