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Audubon Reminds Beachgoers and Boaters to Share the Shores with Rare Baby Birds and Eggs

People and Birds Expected to Enjoy Florida's Beaches this Memorial Day Weekend

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sean Cooley, Communications Manager, (850) 999-1030,
Twitter: @AudubonFL
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Interview Opportunities: Audubon Florida staff are available for interviews in most media markets. Please contact Sean Cooley to schedule.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 24, 2018) – Millions of visitors flock to Florida’s beaches on Memorial Day weekend, and Audubon Florida reminds beachgoers and boaters to enjoy the beach while respecting posted fencing around nesting shorebirds and their fluffy chicks. Florida’s beaches are nurseries for species like Snowy Plovers, Black Skimmers, and Least Terns.

"Just like people, birds love our beaches too! This Memorial Day weekend, we’re asking beachgoers and boaters to give nesting birds some space," said Julie Wraithmell, Audubon Florida's executive director. "Eggs and fluffy chicks are on our sandy shores and tree islands right now, and the end of May is a critical time for Florida's iconic coastal birds.”

Many nesting sites are visibly posted and well-marked on Florida beaches to protect them from human disturbance. Unfortunately, when boaters or beachgoers enter posted areas, they may unintentionally cause the death of chicks and eggs. When parents are frightened from nests, chicks and eggs are left vulnerable to predators, overheating in the summer sun, crushing under foot (in beach nests), or falling and drowning in water beneath the nest (from tree nests). A single disturbance can destroy an entire colony.
"Whether or not human disturbance is intentional, the sad result for birds is the same," said Dr. Marianne Korosy, Audubon Florida’s director of bird conservation. "By following Audubon’s easy tips, we can all work together to ensure this holiday weekend is safe and enjoyable for people and birds."

Volunteer "bird stewards" chaperone nesting bird colonies on many Florida beaches. These stewards help educate beachgoers about nesting colonies while reminding them not to enter protected areas. For more information or to volunteer, email

Audubon's Memorial Day Weekend Beach Tips:

  • Keep your distance. Respect areas posted with signs, even if you don't see birds inside them. Birds, eggs, and nests are well-camouflaged.
  • Leave no trace. Take all your trash with you and always dispose of fishing line and tackle appropriately.
  • Avoid disturbing birds. If birds take flight or appear agitated, you are too close.
  • Keep pets leashed and far away from birds. Even on a leash, dogs are perceived as predators by birds.
  • Don’t feed birds or wildlife. Feeding attracts predators like crows and gulls that will prey on eggs and chicks of beach-nesting birds.
  • Keep quiet and calm near nesting areas. Beach activities like flying kites or using personal fireworks can cause parents to abandon nests. Help prevent a catastrophe for vulnerable chicks and eggs.
  • Look out for nesting birds, even outside of posted areas. Beach-nesting birds can’t read signs and sometimes nest outside of posted areas. If you notice birds circling noisily overhead, you may be near a nesting colony. Leave quietly and enjoy from a distance.


Photos and videos are available for free use. Please credit the video to Audubon Florida and photos to the photographer listed in the file name.
PSA Video (Download):
Photos (Download):
Interview Opportunities: Audubon Florida staff are available for interviews in most media markets. Please contact Sean Cooley to schedule.

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