Living with Beach-Nesting Shorebirds

Beach-nesting Birds

Several species of shorebirds and seabirds nest along the beaches of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida. Habitat loss and degradation associated with coastal development has largely restricted many of these species to stretches of beach within parks and preserves. This group of birds is particularly sensitive to human disturbance since environmental conditions on beaches are already harsh and unpredictable. For example, one dog passing near a colony of nesting seabirds can cause all the birds to panic and subsequently leave their nests dangerously exposed to the hot boiling sun.

How you can help protect beach-nesting birds:

  • Never enter areas posted with shorebird/seabird signs.
  • Avoid driving on or beyond the upper beach.
  • Drive slow enough to avoid running over chicks.
  • Keep dogs on a leash and away from areas where birds may be nesting.
  • Keep cats indoors, and do not feed stray cats.
  • Properly dispose of trash to keep predators away.
  • Do not fly kites near areas where birds may be nesting.
  • When birds are aggravated, you are too close.

Learn more about beach-nesting birds

Shorebird Nest Dates and Contacts

Bird Monitor Qualifications

Nesting Buffer Sign Adobe PDF

Vehicles on the Beach

Share the Beach with Beach-nesting Birds PDF (9.80MB) has tips on how you can help protect Florida's birdlife while still enjoying the beach.

Florida Shorebird Alliance External Website

Florida Shorebird Database External Website

Beach Drivers: Please Watch Out For WildlifePDF

Share the Beach: Beach cleaning practices to minimize impacts to protected shorebirdsPDF


FWC Facts:
Approximately 1.7 million acres of Florida's remaining natural areas have been invaded by nonindigenous plant species, which have degraded and diminished our ecosystem.

Learn More at AskFWC