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Contact a Qualified Rooftop Monitor before accessing a rooftop with nesting!

If you require access to a rooftop where shorebirds are present, Qualified Rooftop Monitors are available to assist you in getting the work accomplished while protecting the nesting birds. Please refer to the IBNB Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines for guidance. In these urgent situations, Qualified Rooftop Monitors can assist you in identifying the best course of action consistent with state regulations.

Qualified Rooftop Monitors

Florida is home to unique shorebirds and seabirds that normally nest on undisturbed, open areas of beaches. But as the state’s beaches become more crowded, less space is available for these birds to nest on the ground. Because of this, many of these birds turn to gravel rooftops to nest and raise chicks.

Rooftop breeding season takes place in Florida between April and September each year. You should always look for birds and chicks on rooftops during this time. It is recommended that routine maintenance and non-emergency repairs be conducted during non-breeding season, between October 1 and April 1. 

The American oystercatcher, snowy plover, black skimmer, and least tern are State-designated Threatened species under Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule. If you must access a rooftop for emergency repairs during the breeding season, please refer to the IBNB Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines for guidance. These guidelines include options for avoidance of take and options for permitting that minimize and mitigate unavoidable harm or harassment. If take (harm or harassment) of IBNBs is unavoidable during emergency rooftop repairs, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may issue an Incidental Take Permit. A Qualified Rooftop Monitor can help you determine if avoidance is possible or if an incidental take permit is necessary. For more information on Qualified Rooftop Monitors, please visit

Roseate terns have protections under the federal Endangered Species Act and disturbance would require a federal permit.

Some species that nest on rooftops in Florida:

Visiting a rooftop where shorebirds or seabirds are nesting  can be catastrophic for these birds. Their eggs and chicks are camouflaged and can be difficult to see. Visits to the rooftop can cause adults to fly away, leaving their eggs and chicks vulnerable to predators, extreme heat, and dehydration in the sun. When frightened, chicks may run off the roof edges or fall into open drains and gutters. If you encounter birds, eggs, or chicks on a rooftop leave as quickly as possible and contact your FWC regional office.

Removing eggs from a rooftop nest is illegal, and most often fatal.

Eggs are sensitive to heat stress and the embryos inside will die if they are not kept at the correct temperature through incubation. Moving eggs may also cause permanent damage by breaking the membrane inside that supports the developing chick. Shorebirds and seabirds are also unlikely to incubate eggs that are returned to a rooftop nest. If you see eggs or chicks on a rooftop, do not move or remove them.

Rooftop Nesting Flyers

Get A Sign

Many building owners place signs on their building to highlight rooftop nesting. If you need a sign, contact your FWC regional office.

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