March Wrack Line Newsletter

March Cover Photo

FSA Partnership Meetings:

March 1: Volusia County Partnership. Email Jennifer Winters

March 3: St. Johns/Flagler Partnership. Email Alex Kropp. 

March 4: Space Coast Partnership. Email Anna Deyle.

March 10: Collier Partnership. Email Collette Lauzau.

March 10: Suncoast Partnership. Email Holley Short.

March 14: Southeast Partnership. Email Andrea Pereyra.

March 15: Lee/Charlotte Partnership. Email Tyson Dallas.


Florida Shorebird Database (FSD) Training:

March 7, 1-2pm(EST): FSD webinar for new surveyors.

March 8, 1-2pm(EST): FSD webinar for returning surveyors.

March 9, 1-2pm(EST): FSD webinar for rooftop monitors.



Beach Stewardship Training:

March 16: Pinellas/Ft. De Soto Park virtual training. Register here.

March 23: Sarasota County virtual training. Register here.

April 7: St. Johns/Flagler in-person training. Email Chris Farrell.



March 1: Data entry deadline for the 2022 Winter Shorebird Survey

March 1: Florida Shorebird Database opens for the season.

March 1: Beach-nesting Monitoring. Sarasota Audubon.

March 3: Protecting and Monitoring Shorebirds During Coastal Construction Projects. St. Lucie Audubon.

March 18-24: First survey count window of the Breeding Bird Protocol.

March 19: Shorebird Stewardship. Audubon of Southwest Florida.

FSA News

2022 breeding season guide

The 2022 Shorebird Breeding Season is Here!

This newsletter is all about helping you prepare for shorebird conservation and monitoring during the 2022 breeding season. Your local partnership is organizing many activities, so please coordinate with them. The best way to do that is to attend a partnership meeting. If you can’t attend the meeting but would like to get involved, please contact Here are a few ways to get started:

Be a mentor, or team up with one. Does your partnership have new members?  If so, encourage them to join a local bird steward program or bring them along on a monitoring survey.  If you're a new member, check with your partnership for training and mentoring opportunities. 

Get posting supplies. Do you have the posting supplies you need to cover your areas?  Let your FWC regional shorebird contact know if you need signs or supplies. View our sign selection.

Get outreach materials. The FSA website contains helpful materials to support your outreach efforts. View the available resources and contact your FWC regional office to receive supplies. 

Prepare for route surveys. If you have an assigned route, will you be able to survey it during all six count windows?  If not, please work with your partnership to find someone to fill in for you or contact us for help. Remember to coordinate survey plans with your local partnership and register for a route or rooftop training webinar.  

Prepare for rooftop monitoring. Can you help monitor rooftops with nesting birds? If so, coordinate with your partnership or contact us. Please let us know if roofs are no longer suitable for nesting (ex: building was torn down or re-roofed).

Read on for more details about getting involved this season...

Photos: Jean Hall

Do Not Enter Sign_FWC

Posting Breeding Sites

Posting is the process of installing signs and rope to create symbolic fencing around shorebird and seabird breeding habitat to protect breeding adults, nests, chicks, and brood-rearing activities. Posting is often the best tool to protect shorebirds and seabirds from human disturbance on popular beaches and islands. "Pre-posting” a section of the beach to give the birds an undisturbed place to initiate nesting is also a great tool, especially if you want to attract birds to a protected spot before they establish nests.

If you find a shorebird nest or seabird colony that has not yet been posted, please notify the local land manager or an FWC regional shorebird contact immediately so that it can be posted. Parks usually have their own preferred signs and posting materials, but if not (or if the nest is on private property), supplies and assistance can be requested by contacting your FWC regional shorebird biologist. Check out our sign selection – many can be printed off and laminated. Remember to seek landowner’s permission to post on private property.

Bird Stewards by Holley Short

Bird Stewarding and Outreach

At some sites, a significant threat to shorebird and seabird breeding is disturbance from people, pets, and vehicles in the nesting area. Under these circumstances, signs posted around the nests are not enough to prevent people from disturbing nesting birds, and it requires time and effort from caring individuals, or beach stewards, to monitor the nests and chicks.

Shorebird steward programs are organized by shorebird partnerships throughout Florida. Where and when bird stewards will be needed is not fully determined until the birds have started nesting. This usually starts in March and can run into September, depending on the bird species.

Stewarding begins after the nests and colonies are located and posted by biologists. Although the greatest needs for stewards is on weekends and holidays, stewarding can be done anytime an area has active shorebird nesting. While out on the beaches, stewards carry out two important tasks: 1) minimizing disturbance to the nests, and 2) informing the public about beach nesting birds.

To volunteer as a bird steward this season, please check this map to see if there is a steward program near you. If so, please call or email the program contact to get involved. If there is not a bird steward program near you and you are interested in starting one, please contact us. In addition to stewards, land managers and private citizens can also do a lot to educate others about beach-nesting birds.  We have outreach materials to help you get the message out to beach drivers, photographers, and pedestrians on the beach.

photo: Holley Short

Bonnie Sameulsen

Breeding Bird Surveys and Training

Florida’s official shorebird monitoring program begins this month, with the first count window from March 18th – 24th. Everything you need to know to participate in the monitoring program can be found on the Florida Shorebird Database (FSD) website.

The website’s Instructions detail what the monitoring program involves. The Resources page contains videos on data entry and the Breeding Bird Protocol (BBP), which explains the monitoring process and includes data sheets.

All monitors are encouraged to register for a training webinar.  The March 7th webinar is for new volunteers who plan to survey a specific route (usually along the beach). The March 8th webinar is for returning volunteers and includes updates to the BBP and FSD interface. The March 9th webinar is for volunteers who plan to monitor rooftops and focuses the rooftop section of the BBP and FSD interface .

All webinars are from 1-2pm Eastern.  

Details and instructions will be emailed to registered participants prior to the webinars.

Register here for the 2022 webinars.

Photo: Bonnie Samuelsen

Chick fencing by Jean Hall

Rooftop Monitoring and Outreach

Many seabirds and some shorebirds nest on gravel rooftops in Florida, making rooftop monitoring and outreach important components of our work. There are hundreds of rooftops throughout the state where seabirds have historically nested, and we need your help monitoring them. If you are willing to check on a nearby rooftop, please contact your local partnership to learn where you can assist. If you would like to become a monthly rooftop monitor, March - August, please review the rooftop section of the Breeding Bird Protocol. 

If you see shorebirds or seabirds flying to or from a rooftop, the birds are likely nesting on that roof. It is important to talk to the property owners or managers, to help make them aware of the protected species nesting on their roof. The building’s residents or employees can alert you if there are falling chicks or other issues, so it’s important to talk to them early in the season and leave a phone number they can call. The FSA has signs, letters, postcards, and other Rooftop Resources to help with outreach.

At rooftops where birds nest every year, there may be things you can do to prepare for the upcoming season. First, please remind the property owner to schedule rooftop repairs or air conditioning maintenance before the birds arrive.  Also, some partnerships are “chick-proofing” rooftops, so please contact your local partnership to see if they need help.

photo: Jean Hall

FSD banner

FSD Updates

The Florida Shorebird Database is Open for the Season!

The breeding season is here and the first Breeding Bird Protocol Count Window is March 18-24. Before entering your breeding data, you may want to do a little spring cleaning of your Florida Shorebird Database (FSD) account:

  • Review the 2022 Breeding Bird Protocol. We clarified some of the explanations for reporting roving chicks, so be sure to check it out!
  • Log in to your FSD account.
  • Make sure your contact information, data entry permissions, and partnership affiliations are up-to-date by clicking Manage Account.
  • Review your list of routes and rooftops.
    • Are you still planning to survey the routes and rooftops listed in your profile? If not, you may want to remove them from your profile.
    • Are the routes and rooftops in the correct location? If not, email to update their locations.
    • Are the descriptions for the routes and rooftops accurate? If not, you can update the information by clicking ‘View/Edit’, then editing the Description.
    • Are the routes and rooftops still suitable for nesting? If not, email to retire them.

Thank you for your dedication to shorebird and seabird conservation. May the 2022 nesting season be highly productive!

Ebb Tidings

Photo by Britt Brown

In Case You Missed It

Today is the last day to enter data from the Florida Winter Shorebird Survey. Enter your data in the Winter Birds 2022 Google Sheet. If you are  unable to complete data entry today, please email for support. Thank you for continuing to support the annual snapshot of shorebirds and seabirds wintering in Florida. 

Photo: Britt Brown