Thanks to hundreds of Audubon bird stewards and biologists along with our partners, there were no reported mishaps at beach-nesting sites during the 2018 Independence Day fireworks celebrations. Audubon teams up with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and local governments during the nesting season to monitor and protect protected nesting areas and the species that depend on them.
Florida’s nesting seabirds – especially Least Terns and Black Skimmers – nested more than a month late this year due to the nest destruction caused by subtropical storm Alberto. Tiny chicks and almost-hatched eggs were protected from personal fireworks and celebrating crowds across the Florida Panhandle, in Northeast Florida, the Greater Tampa Bay region, and Southwest Florida until beach parties died down late in the evening. Audubon volunteers and beach-walkers were out early the following morning to pick up fireworks and celebration debris, which are often eaten by hungry baby birds and sea turtles with dire effects.