Coastal Conservation

Beach-nesting birds, such as terns and plovers, are struggling to survive in Florida, often because of the intense disturbance by recreational beachgoers. Flushed from their camouflaged nests in the sand, adult birds watch helplessly as eggs and chicks are exposed to the hot sun and predators, or are crushed by unwary pedestrians, dogs or drivers.

One Florida beach species, the threatened Least Tern, has found a partial solution: many now choose to nest on gravel rooftops. However, these “beaches in the sky” have their own perils: chicks fall off roofs and perish. Audubon Florida's Rooftop Program  and “chick-checking” volunteers return these fallen chicks to their rooftops to rejoin their parents. Audubon staff work with building owners outside the nesting season to install fencing along unprotected rooftop edges to keep chicks from falling in subsequent seasons. Recognizing this is only an interim solution—because rooftops are no replacement for real beach habitat— we also help by encouraging public land managers to protect beach nesting areas, and we staff the posted areas on busy weekends with volunteer bird stewards, who act as ambassadors for the birds.

Here at Audubon, we recruit volunteers to assist with on-the-ground wildlife and habitat management. The benefits to wildlife are immediate and connect people with nature. This connection is a gateway for volunteers to quickly become educated on regional conservation issues, stay engaged for longer tenures, and move from volunteerism to advocacy.

Coastal Bird Stewardship
Get Involved

Coastal Bird Stewardship

Florida's beaches and shores are vital to many different bird species throughout the year. And they need your help.

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Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries
Conservation

Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries

The mission of the Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries is the protection of the great colonial waterbird populations of the Florida coast, and the natural systems that support them.

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News & Updates

Bird Rookery Island Cleaners Help Prepare for Annual Nesting Season
News

Bird Rookery Island Cleaners Help Prepare for Annual Nesting Season

By Lisa D. Mickey, a Florida Master Naturalist at the Marine Discovery Center and member of Halifax River Audubon

Big Bend's Over-wintering Shorebirds Depart for Points North
Coastal Conservation

Big Bend's Over-wintering Shorebirds Depart for Points North

Pat and Doris Leary's stunning photo-log of Avocets, White Pelicans, and more

Hurricane Matthew Assessment: Beach Dunes Better Than Seawalls
News

Beach Dunes Better Than Seawalls

Analysis of impacts from Hurricane Matthew shows nature can produce a more resilient coastline than rocks and concrete.

Gravel Rooftops Can Be a Safe Place for Least Terns to Call "Home"
News

Rooftop protection measures for Least Terns

Audubon Florida’s Panhandle Rooftop Coordinator works directly with the gravel-roofed building owners to make rooftop nesting as safe and successful as possible.

A Piping Plover’s Tale: A97
Coastal Conservation

A Piping Plover's Tale: A97

A coded band reveals a fascinating migration story

City of St. Augustine helps make bird stewarding a reality at Julia’s Island
Coastal Conservation

Julia's Island Bird Stewardship

City of St. Augustine supports first year of bird stewardship on Julia's Island.

How you can help, right now