Summertime is a great time for beach sports like volleyball. It’s also an important time for beach-nesting birds, which raise their families right on the bare sand. These birds face many natural threats, from toxic algae to red tide to rising seas, as well as disturbance from nearby human activities. Beachfront establishments are caught in the middle, often forced to choose between conserving their birdlife and providing fun events on the sand for their guests.
One establishment in St. Pete Beach, Chris's Beachside Bar, has found a way to accommodate both people and birds during their annual beach volleyball event.
Chris’s staff members were aware of the busy Black Skimmer nesting colony located on the sand between their bar and the lapping waves. In advance of their Summer Smash Kick-off Pro-Am Tournament on June 1, Chris’s staff took extra steps to give these birds a helping hand. By voluntarily adding extra nets at ground level between the courts and the beach, they are helping prevent wayward balls from rolling into the colony where they would disturb the nesting birds and potentially harm eggs and chicks.
Audubon Florida gives kudos to Chris’s Beachside Bar for taking these extra steps to protect Florida’s native birdlife and encourages other beachfront establishments to consider similar measures. Learn more about what beach-nesting birds endure this time of the year here.