Black Skimmer with chick, photo by Jean Hall

From Audubon Florida

As Florida begins to reopen beaches, Audubon is calling on beachgoers to help make beaches safer for birds by avoiding their nesting areas.

“After a generally successful nesting season in 2019, we are reaching out to local beachgoers to respect posted areas around nesting birds so that 2020 will be another banner season. If we share the shore, we can all enjoy the sand together,” says Marianne Korosy, Ph.D., Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon Florida.

On the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts, Audubon’s Coastal Bird Stewardship Program engages local communities to protect beach-nesting birds from predators and disturbance, like off-leash dogs or fireworks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Audubon is adhering to all local and state guidelines for beach closures, social distancing, and stay-at-home orders.

Here are four tips for making our beaches safer for birds:

  • Give nesting birds at least 150 feet of distance if the space allows. Signs or people usually alert you to these areas, but many posting and fencing efforts are delayed this season.
  • If pets are permitted on beaches, keep them leashed and away from birds.
  • Remove trash and food scraps, which attract animals that might eat shorebirds’ eggs and/or chicks.
  • Do not drive on beach dunes or other nesting areas.

As community leaders, Audubon takes seriously our personal and organizational responsibility to help stop the spread of COVID-19. As a result, we have closed all of our offices and centers, cancelled all events and have restricted many stewardship and monitoring activities to prioritize the safety of our staff, volunteers, and communities.

Audubon protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Find more information at www.Fl.Audubon.org.

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