May 2018 Wrack Line Newsletter

May 2018


May 4: Save the birds this summer with each trip to the beach! Timucuan Shorebird Stewardship training from 10am-12pm (ET) at The Ribault Club, Jacksonville. RSVP to Chris Farrell @

May 12-13: World Migratory Bird Day

May 12: Pinellas County Mid-Season Stewardship Training for Black Skimmer Colonies with Audubon Florida. Starts at 8:00am (ET) at Tiki Gardens, Indian Shores. RSVP Holley Short @

May 15: Breakfast with the Birds - Connecting the Globe. Starts at 9:30am (ET) at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Naples FL. Ticket info @ or check it out on Facebook


May 13 - 19: is the next count window for the Breeding Bird Protocol. If you’re surveying a route with active nesting, weekly surveys help capture information about peak counts.

April 25 - June 20: To help with the 2018 rooftop study, please try to survey rooftop sites every week. To learn more about the study please read the article below.

May 26-29: Memorial Day Weekend!  Shorebirds and seabirds nesting along the coast need more support during busy holiday weekends. Can you help?  If so, contact a Stewardship Coordinator in your area.  

FSA News

Rehab Locator App

New Seabird Rehabilitator and Transporter Locator App

The FWC’s Coastal Wildlife Conservation Initiative has just completed a new web application that allows people to locate rehabilitators and transporters for injured seabirds. It may be used by anglers who have hooked a bird with their fishing line or anyone who is seeking help for an injured seabird. All they need is a smartphone or tablet. Users can allow the app to access their location or pin a location on the map and select the radius (0-50 miles) they would like to search within.

This app is part of the FWC’s “Don’t Cut the Line” campaign. It was developed based on a need to quickly locate help for injured seabirds. Many of the providers on the FWC’s main rehabilitator list do not accept seabirds (they may provide care for mammals or other species), but all the providers in this app have been confirmed to accept seabirds. This means the user can make one phone call (with one click) instead of calling several until they find one who can help. The app will be updated on a regular basis to include new seabird rehabilitators and transporters and delete ones who are no longer providing service. For information about the required licenses for the providers, click on the “i” in the upper right corner of the app.

As FWC partners, please spread the word about the new app, which can be accessed on our webpage. The URL for the app is If you have any questions about this app, you may contact the CWCI coordinator, Fara Ilami, at

FSD Updates

FSD banner

New Features on the Florida Shorebird Database

The FSD has a new way to search for users! When you log in, you will be asked who you would like to enter data for. If you are entering your own data, click the "Set for Myself" button. If you are entering data that someone else collected, click "Select Another User". You can search for other users by following the instructions that appear.

The new system for searching other users has improved the speed and performance of the FSD. It was developed because users (like you!) reported problems with the FSD. If you experience any issues with the performance of the website, please email Your feedback is invaluable!

The 2018 webinars are online! After a delay due to technical difficulties, the instructional webinars are now live on the Resources tab of the FSD. If you have any questions, just email

Ebb Tidings

Team Effort Helps Snowy Plover have Early Success at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

Near Fledgling at SJSP

When the first snowy plover nest at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park for 2018 was found by a FWRI biologist, there was little hope of it hatching. Although the nest was in the park’s Wilderness Preserve, it was at the edge of the posted area along the bay shoreline and was exposed to recreational disturbances. The posting was adjusted lower on the beach around the nest, but this still provided only a 30-foot buffer from disturbance.  Typically, adults can flush and stay away from the nest when disturbances are closer than 300-feet.

When discovered, the nest had only one egg associated with a territorial pair, better known by their unique color bands as Blue:Service//Yellow Orange female and Service//White : Red Red male. On the second nest visit, there was a second egg present and the banded female was observed incubating the nest. Now at a full clutch of two eggs, this nest would face many close-calls during the month-long incubation period and again before the chick fledges. A week before hatching, the snowy plover nest survived a severe storm, but lost one egg that was likely blown out of the nest bowl by strong winds. On other visits, various predator tracks were observed nearby the nest including opossums, bobcats, ghost crabs, and dogs.

To help alleviate recreational disturbance pressures FWRI biologists collaborated with Audubon Florida due to the vulnerability of this specific nest along with other nests at the north end of the peninsula. From this collaborative effort, this nest survived Spring Break and successfully hatched on Easter weekend. The chick that hatched from this nest was most recently observed at 26 days old and is on track to fledge by early May!

Rooftop Study 2018
Photo provided by Audubon

Rooftop Study 2018

Gravel rooftops in Florida are a key alternative nesting habitat for threatened beach nesting birds such as the Least Tern, Black Skimmer, Roseate Tern, and American Oystercathcer. The conservation value of rooftops is of such importance that the future population trend of these species is expected to be largely influenced by the availability of suitable gravel rooftops and by the productivity of rooftop colonies. There is a need to re-evaluate the current number of shorebirds and seabirds nesting on rooftops and we need your help to successfully achieve this goal.

Partners and volunteers have played an enormous role on most of the current monitoring and management efforts to make a difference for shorebirds and seabirds nesting on Florida’s rooftops. For example, the data gathered by you helped us to identify the peak nesting season for Least Tern's using rooftops as nesting habitat (Figure 1). Our current efforts to re-evaluate the breeding population status of rooftop nesting birds would not be successful without the help from dedicated volunteers like you.

Graph for Rooftop work
Figure 1: Peak Rooftop Nesting Times