Justine Kibbe, Island Naturalist

Justine Kibbe, Island Naturalist

For the past seven years, Justine Kibbe has lived on Fishers Island, most of that time as FIConservancy’s naturalist. We say a fond farewell to Justine this October as she leaves Fishers Island.

Through photosvideos and the written word, Justine has recorded nature as it unfolds on Fishers Island, season by season. She has been FIConservancy’s treasure.

“Justine has been the eyes and ears of FIConservancy,” said Tom Sargent, president. “Her beautiful pictures and thoughtful observations have greatly helped us in our ongoing effort to bring nature closer to the heart of the Fishers Island community.”

Connecting with the environment and becoming familiar with its rhythm and verse is just one of Justine’s many gifts. She not only monitored weather, tides, local wildlife species, migratory birds, and the health of seaweed and seagrass, but she also cared deeply about preservation and sharing knowledge.

Justine created “Sanctuary of Sands” on South Beach, which has become a secure home for returning shorebirds. In 2013, she founded the Island Sentinel program where she coached students in the art and responsibility of observation. She also served on the Fishers Island Seagrass Management (FISM) Coalition.

Justine will be missed by the entire Fishers Island community. We wish her the best of luck in all future endeavors!

Justine Kibbe grew up summering on Fishers Island, where her parents renovated an old Fort Wright house on Officer’s Row near Silver Eel Cove. She spent long summer days bicycling, exploring, fishing and swimming, all of which instilled in her a passion for marine environments.

Red-breasted Merganser

I was out in the Field early this morning; following up on yesterday’s River otter sighting within Duck pond. Perhaps with 1-3 inches of expected snow tonight, folks can certainly keep a look out for otter’s unmistakable tracks.

In the meanwhile, 65mph wind gusts have disintegrated over Fishers Island; permitting this male Red-breasted Merganser to share his familiar “shaggy crest” -sporting breeding plumage while sailing along Race Point.

– From the Field, Video Snippet, Justine Kibbe, February 27, 2019

Black-bellied plovers by Justine Kibbe

Happy to see last weeks lone
Black-bellied plover now has a traveling companion…

*foraging within Sanctuary of Sands, southwestern tip, Fishers Island

From the Field, Video Snippet, Justine Kibbe, December 10, 2018

Eastern Bluebird by Justine Kibbe
Black-bellied Plover by Justine Kibbe

A lone Black-bellied Plover
briskly forages along these winter grounds within Sanctuary of Sands today.

*juvenile plumage

From the Field, Video Snippet, Justine Kibbe, December 4, 2018

American Widgeon
Sanderling Pair by Justine Kibbe

Big Club beach:
These “large” Sandpipers scurry and probe foraging within wave tidal deposits.

* Thanks for helping me to narrow down this shore bird ID to Conservancy’s Adam Mitchell, Wildlife Biologist University of Deleware.

From the Field, Video Snippet, Justine Kibbe, December 1, 2018

Hay Harbor's Great Blue Heron

Looks to be a juvenile keeping an eye on fish outside the “Tank”.

From the Field, Video Snippet, Justine Kibbe, November 30, 2018

Belted Kingfisher by Justine Kibbe