September Wrack Line Newsletter

September Cover photo

FSA News

Thank You

Thank You for your dedication to shorebird and seabird conservation

2020 has been unprecedented in many ways, including new challenges faced during the shorebird and seabird breeding season. Many nesting shorebirds are management-dependent, meaning they depend on active intervention in order to survive.  Every year, an army of well-orchestrated stewards, rooftop monitors, route surveyors, biologists, and law enforcement officers make it possible for shorebirds to successfully raise a new generation. From beach closures to temporary program shut-downs, this year, FSA partners met each new challenge with grit and grace to ensure a best-case breeding scenario for some of Florida's most charismatic coastal inhabitants.    

To all of the volunteers, land managers, interns, students, officers, shorebird staff, partnership coordinators, curious beachgoers, and many others THANK YOU for your ongoing dedication to raising another generation of Florida's beach-nesting birds.  Especially during breeding seasons like 2020, the vast network of the Florida Shorebird Alliance highlights the ongoing need for partnership-driven conservation.  In every way, your dedication is priceless.

least terns

Seabird abundance estimates webinar

As a reminder, the FWC Shorebird Data Team is hosting a webinar about the details of the analysis used to develop the seabird abundance estimates featured in the 2020 Annual Report

In 2020, the FWC Shorebird Data Team finalized a process to calculate the most accurate abundance estimates possible with confidence intervals for black skimmers and least terns, based solely on information available in the Florida Shorebird Database (FSD). With this advancement, the FSD will serve as the sole data source to update statewide seabird abundance estimates and to assess progress toward species recovery goals.

To accomplish this task, the team developed a custom analysis strategy that allows all data reported to the FSD to be leveraged. The analysis produces an estimate of the number of breeding pairs in Florida and overcomes analytical challenges related to the facts that nesting is not always synchronous, birds may move between colonies within a season, and monitoring does not occur simultaneously across all breeding sites.

Developing abundance estimates using data from the FSD has been a long-term priority for shorebird conservation partners. More than a decade of consistent monitoring by FSA partners has made this achievement possible.

If you want to know more about the details of the analysis, join the FWC Shorebird Data Team for a recorded webinar on Thursday, September 17 from 10 – 11:30 am EST. Click here to register for the webinar!

Photo: Maxis Gamez

FSD banner

FSD Updates

FSD Closes October 1

The FSD closes for the season on October 1!

Be sure to enter your monitoring data before the FSD closes for the season on October 1. Remember, every observation contributes valuable information about breeding shorebirds and seabirds – even if the observations occurred outside a count window.

As nesting season comes to a close, we ask you to take some time to double-check the data you entered this year. Here’s a quick checklist of things to look for:

Are the site locations correct?

Check to make sure the sites are not located in the water or in heavily vegetated areas. If the location is correct but the image is old, please add a comment confirming that the location is correct.

Do all of the sites have a Final Outcome?

If the final visit to any site (solitary nest, ground colony, or rooftop) is ‘Active’, be sure to enter another visit that indicates the site’s final outcome.

Don’t forget: for solitary sites, the nesting outcome ‘Complete’ means that the eggs hatched. If there isn’t a roving chick record to confirm that the nest hatched, please include a comment detailing the evidence that led you to mark the nest as complete. If chicks are never observed and there was no evidence to confirm a successful hatch, mark the nest as ‘No chicks left the nest’ or ‘I don’t know the outcome of this site.’

Are your count types correct?

Remember: for colony and rooftop sites, if you could see the entire colony or rooftop, your count type is probably Direct. If you couldn’t see the entire colony or rooftop and you had to do a little bit of math to calculate the count, your count type was an Estimate count. If you’re unsure, you can consult our handy Quick Guide to Count Types. 

Are there any other typos?

Look for duplicate entries, counts that seem out of place, or any other possible typos in the data.

Thank you for another dedicated season of shorebird monitoring! Please email for support.

Ebb Tidings