Skip to main content.

Alabama Power volunteers work with Alabama Audubon Society to build chick shelters

Alabama Power employees teamed up with the Alabama Audubon Society to construct “chick shelters” for birds in the fledging process along the Graveline Bay Marsh Restoration project on Dauphin Island.

Cortney Weatherby, Alabama Audubon Society’s Coastal Outreach manager, was in charge of the project.

“Chick shelters are simple triangular structures that are varying in sizes, but they provide shade and protection for our tiny beach-nesting birds while they are in the fledging process, which takes about 22-28 days, depending on the species of bird, from the time they hatch to when they are capable of flight,” Weatherby said.

Chick shelters protect baby birds on Alabama beach from Alabama News Center on Vimeo.

The successful restoration project on the north side of Dauphin Island has created a perfect nesting habitat for beach-nesting birds including least terns, black skimmers, gull-billed terns, Caspian terns and royal terns.

If not protected, the sun can cause the eggs and chicks to overheat and not survive. To provide protection for the birds, volunteers of the Mobile Division Chapter of the Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO) built chick shelters to help. Newly hatched chicks will rely heavily on the shelters until they are able to fly.

Alabama Power Community Relations Manager Sharon Murrill is always looking for opportunities in the areas that she represents for the company.

“When I heard of this project from Cortney, I thought this was a great opportunity because birding is so important to the residents of Dauphin Island,” Murrill said.

The volunteers built as many as 120 chick shelters in different sizes for the various species on Graveline Bay, giving the project more than 200 shelters to help protect the birds.

Learn more about how you can support the Alabama Audubon Society at