Share the Shore

Tips for Sharing the Shore:

  • Keep your distance. If birds become agitated, leave their nest, calling at you, or performing a broken-wing display, it's time to step back. As stewards, it's our duty to set a good example and do the same! Point out these behaviors to other beachgoers before they approach a nesting site.
  • Respect posted areas. Choose your spot with care - don't sit or play near a posted area. Toys such as kites and balls that are too close can easily disturb the birds.Any lost objects within a colony should be left alone unless it can be removed by a steward safely without further disturbance .
  • Never intentionally force the birds to fly. Now that colonial chicks are moving down to the water's edge (normal behavior!), watch for the resting adults and their chicks in the flock. Walk around the flock as best as you can without causing too much disturbance. Flushing birds can waste energy needed for parent birds to raise their young.
  • Keep fireworks away from a nesting site. Fireworks can cause abandonment of nests and chicks. Set off fireworks outside of the recommended area to ensure safety for the nesting bird families. Signs will be placed at recommended distances at each site. There will also be plastic fencing set up by volunteers on the night of the 4th to prevent chicks from running from the colony and getting lost. If you are interested in helping, please contact the respective anchor or coordinator.
  • Keep pets away. Dogs are not allowed on the beaches where our nesting shorebirds are. Remember this ordinance and stay away from nesting sites. If it is a service animal, it must be leashed and kept away from nesting shorebirds.
  • Keep the beach clean. Feeding wildlife is not allowed and feeding birds is unhealthy for them. Feeding wildlife can attract predators to nesting sites! Other kinds of litter including discarded fishing line and plastic bags can entangle shorebirds and harm other marine life.
  • Spread the word about the birds! If you are unable to steward you can still help! Let people know to watch out for nesting shorebirds at their beach. Give them these tips to help share the shore! Remember, our goal is to educate, not enforce. We are here to be proactive, not reactive! As stewards, we are asking the public to appreciate the nesting shorebirds and help protect them. Approaching situations positively and calmly can get the results we want for our precious shorebirds. Many people are not aware of the nesting or how they can help. It is up to us to provide that information for them to be respectful and share the shore.

Florida Audubon's Beach Docent Manual

audubon_beachdocentmanual_april2016.pdf


Header Photo: L. Witt-Packard