Birds who frequent the Frank Bay Pond Marine and Wildlife Sanctuary will soon have a new hang-out thanks to the V.I. Audubon Society.
The group has funds to purchase a platform which will contain plants and include space for birds to nest, explained V.I. Audubon Society board of directors member Chuck Pishko.
Currently a surf board is anchored in the pond, which seems to be fine for the birds, Pishko explained.
“The surfboard has been there since they refurbished the pond quite a few years ago,” said Pishko. “The birds use it all the time, and the ducks too. They all use it.”
The feathered friends, however, will soon enjoy an upgrade.
“We’re going to replace the surfboard with a platform that will have plants on it,” Pishko said. “There will also be space for the birds to nest so they won’t be bothered by anything on shore.”
Funds for the platform, which were raised by the group’s plant sales, are in place and members hope to have the structure in place within the year, explained Pishko.
“We have the money and now all we are doing is looking for a vendor,” he said. “It will roughly be the size of a good-sized dinghy. It will be bigger than a surfboard.”
The Frank Bay Pond was once a severely damaged sewage area, but has since been refurbished and is now a popular spot for both birds and the humans who love them.
“Since the refurbishing, it’s a good habitat,” said Pishko. “What’s nice about it is that anyone in town can just walk over the hill to appreciate the area. Teachers can even walk over with their classes to view the wildlife.”
Last year the V.I. Audubon Society installed a bench and viewing platform near the shoreline, making the pond an even more pleasant locale.
The group gathered for its monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, January 23, when members got the chance to view local artist Elaine Estern’s wildlife photographs from her recent trip to Kenya.
While the V.I. Audubon Society is based on both St. Thomas and St. John, members can be found throughout the United States.
“We have a lot of people who are members who don’t live here, even part time — they just want to get our newsletter the Bananaquit,” said Pishko.
For more information about the V.I. Audubon Society, check out the group’s Web site at www.audubon.org/affiliate-/vi/vi/.