Bird Steward Program

Bird Stewarding Volunteers needed

What is a Bird Steward?

- Holley Short

What is a bird steward? A bird steward is a volunteer that is dedicated to protecting our beautiful beaches and nesting shorebirds/seabirds.

A steward conducts outreach at nesting sites, either solitary or colonial, and answers any questions and provides information about the nesting species. (S)he will also help ensure that beachgoers are respectful of the posted areas and educational signage. A new steward doesn't need to be a bird expert - all new volunteers are trained and given the tools they need to be successful!

Hours per shift

At least two hours per shift is highly suggested. This allows a steward to effectively conduct outreach. More hours (3-4) are encouraged in order to have complete coverage during the busy weekends and holidays!

Locations: Stewards are needed at a number of sites - Ft. DeSoto, St. Pete Beach, Indian Shores, and Sand Key.


For Fort DeSoto or St. Pete Beach , contact Kelly McNeal at

For Indian Shores or Sand Key. contact Monica Craig at

2016 Birds Stewarding

A sincere you to all the volunteers and financial supporters that made this program so successful.

These recipients went above and beyond helping us to support the Beach-Nesting Bird program.

Extra Ordinary Volunteers

2015 Bird Steward Program Report

Saskia Janes, St. Petersburg Audubon BIrd Steward Program Coordinator has written a comprehensive report of the 2015 season. Please download and read the PDF version of this successful program.

2015 Bird Stewart Report

This program is grateful for the support and participation of volunteer Bird Stewards, an essential component of this program, as well as St. Petersburg Audubon Board and members of Audubon. Thanks also to partnerships with Florida Shorebird Alliance; Florida Fish & Wildlife Law Enforcement; Town of Indian Shores - Mayor Jim Lawrence, Darlyn Stockfisch and Malcolm Green; Audubon Florida; Clearwater Audubon Society; Suncoast Shorebird Partnership; Eckerd College; Baystar Properties; Friends of Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges; Pinellas County Parks; Pinellas County Sheriff; Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary; and National Audubon Society. We are grateful to have Dave Hopkins, Paul Ingham (both from Clearwater Audubon) and Mel Rollins (St. Pete Audubon) donate their time and expertise to the actual posting construction process at the beginning of each season.

Black Skimmers and Chick photo by Jim Gray

Photo - Jim Gray

At Indian Shores, many beach visitors lit off fireworks near the boundaries of the beach-nesting bird areas. Many Black Skimmer (BLSK) chicks scattered as parents flew during all the fireworks.

No Fireworks
BLSK chick
Corralled BLSK chick

Photos - Kim Kandz

Setting Up Fence parameter

From Kevin Chrisman FB, former St. Pete Audubon Bird Steward

You all might enjoy this. On July 29, 2012, my friend Rob and I found this banded Semipalmated Plover while Bird Stewarding with St. Pete Audubon at Ft. DeSoto, in Pinellas County, FL. Luckily, Rob got a great photo! We reported the sighting at the time but never heard anything back. Thanks to groups like this, I found another contact who was banding SEPL and sent them the reisighting info.

The photo bounced between a few researches and eventually I found out this from the Biologist who banded it: This guy "was captured on its nest and banded in 2011 on Niglintgak Island in the Kendall Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Mackenzie Delta, Northwest Territories. It was re-sighted on the breeding grounds in 2012 on Fish Island (just outside the sanctuary). It was not seen in 2013 or 2014. We weren’t at that study site in 2015; we plan to return there in 2020." That is a journey of just over 3555 miles!!! That is awesome.

Header Photo: L. Witt-Packard