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Beach Nesting Birds
Natural Resources > Birding > Beach Nesting Birds
 
Photo Credit: Missy Christie
 
Part of the Florida beach experience is enjoying the beautiful seabirds and shorebirds, from elegant white egrets to splendid black skimmers and graceful terns. Beach-goers are fortunate to observe a tremendous variety of birds along undeveloped stretches of beach which are critical to shorebird nesting. These undeveloped stretches of beach provide a place where shorebirds can lay their eggs and raise their young, as they prefer isolated undisturbed areas.
 
Florida coastline stretches nearly 1,200 statute miles with 13 million people living on or near the coast and another 50 million people visiting the beaches to vacation. With the coastline experiencing rapid growth and widespread coastal development, shorebirds and seabirds have few places left to go. Most of the remaining native coastal habitat is confined to public lands found in state, county, and federal parks. In these areas, conservation is a high priority, but the lands are mostly regulated for recreational use. Even with the remaining parcels of protected lands, shorebirds and seabirds are competing for suitable habitat to incubate and raise their young. Human-related conflicts (foot traffic, pets, and pollution) are increasingly impacting resting, foraging, and nesting habitats. Due to the decline in undisturbed beaches, nesting shorebirds utilize the same beaches as the public. Repeated disruptions from people and pets can cause the birds to take flight and endanger the survival of the eggs and chicks.
 
Species
Habitat
Diet
Reproduction
Impacts
Protection Measures
 
Management Plan Objectives
All Florida native birds are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and are also protected under state law, and may not be trapped or killed without federal permits. Endangered and threatened species have additional protection.
 
Light Pollution
Migratory birds have problems with light pollution. Information about this subject can be found at the Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP).
 
For additional information, contact Charlotte County Natural Resources Division at 941.613.3220 or CommunityServices@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.
 
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