July Wrack Line Newsletter

July 2022 Cover Photo


July 16-24: Latino Conservation Week. Multiple Florida events. 


July 8 - 14: the July count window for the Breeding Bird Protocol.  Whenever possible, weekly surveys are preferred for routes with active nesting; it helps capture information about peak counts. 

Fourth of July and All Summer: Beach stewards are needed at important beach nesting sites. Check out the map of local stewardship opportunities and contact us to get involved!  

FSA News

least terns by Jean Hall

Be a 4th of July Hero for Shorebirds and Seabirds

As people head for the coasts for the Independence Day holiday, the FWC is reminding the public to help protect shorebirds and seabirds by giving them space and keeping personal fireworks off the beach. 

Shorebirds on Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts are nesting now, with many of them watching over flightless chicks. Threatened species such as the snowy plover, least tern, black skimmer and American oystercatcher are among the shorebirds facing conservation challenges and needing help from people to survive. Loud noises can cause adults to flush off their nests and tiny chicks to become separated from parents, leaving them vulnerable to predators, the elements, and getting stepped on by beachgoers. At the beach or on a waterway, help shorebirds and seabirds be safe by remembering these tips for a shorebird-friendly Independence Day:

Leave fireworks to the professionals. Keep personal fireworks off the beach and at home; attend an official event instead. The loud sounds and bright lights of personal fireworks on Florida's beaches and waterways can have catastrophic effects on nesting birds and their chicks, as well as nesting sea turtles.

Do the flock walk. Keep at least 300 feet from nesting birds, stay out of posted areas, and walk around flocks of birds. Getting too close to nesting shorebirds, seabirds and wading birds can cause them to flush from their breeding sites, leaving vulnerable eggs and chicks exposed to the elements and predators. Egg temperatures can increase to lethal levels after just a few minutes of direct sun exposure. Shorebirds and seabirds nest in shallow scrapes in the sand and their eggs and chicks are well-camouflaged, making them vulnerable to being stepped on unless people look out for them and walk around flocks of birds.

Properly stash all trash. Trash and food scraps attract predators, such as raccoons and crows, that prey on shorebird eggs and chicks. Litter on beaches and in the water can entangle birds, turtles and other wildlife. Beachgoers can help shorebirds and other native wildlife by properly disposing of all trash, filling in man-made holes in the sand, and removing all personal gear from the beach before sunset. Fishing line can be deadly to waterbirds, sea turtles and other wildlife, so be sure to dispose of it properly. To find a monofilament recycling station near you, visit mrrp.myfwc.com.

Keep Fido at home. Even well-behaved dogs and responsible people can frighten shorebirds, causing them to abandon their eggs and chicks. Birds see all dogs as predators. If you're visiting a pet-friendly beach, keep your furry friend on a leash.  

Look for Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) closures. Be on the lookout for signs designating Critical Wildlife Areas on the beach or coastal islands – these areas are closed to public access to protect high concentrations of wading birds and shorebirds while they nest and raise their chicks. Boaters and beachgoers can help nesting birds by keeping distance and noise volumes low near CWAs.

Practice disturbance-free photography. When taking photos, please take great
care to avoid disturbing the birds, and their nests and chicks. Florida’s wildlife photographers can be important advocates for shorebirds and seabirds when following guidance in the How to Be a Shorebird-friendly Photographer brochure.

Spread the word. Let your friends and family know how important it is to give shorebirds space and share the message on social media!

Report disturbance of nesting birds to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or by texting Tip@MyFWC.com. 

Have a happy Independence Day weekend while sharing the shore! 

Photo: Jean Hall

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FSD Updates

New Feature: Solitary Nest Summaries

Have you ever wanted to see this season’s nesting sequence for a particular pair or nest site? Now you can! Every time you enter a renest’s original nest or a chick’s natal nest, the data can be linked into a nesting sequence. Follow the steps below to see the information about nests, chicks, and renests all in one place.

1. From the My Data page, find the solitary site you’re interested in and click the View/Edit button.

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2. On the new View My Solitary Site page, you will see the site summary showing the original nest and the renest, as well as the distance between the nests. If anything looks incorrect, you can use the Edit button to make corrections.

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3. You can look at the Site Visit Summary to see the entire nesting sequence at a glance. You can see the type of observation, the status at each visit, and the number of days between visits to each nest. In the example below, the original nest produced a downy chick then the pair renested.

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Thoughts or suggestions about this new feature? Share these, and any new ideas for improving the website, by emailing FLShorebirdDatabase@myFWC.com. We welcome your feedback!

Ebb Tidings

FSA Partnership Map

12 FSA Partnerships

Did you know the Florida Shorebird Alliance is comprised of 12 local partnerships? If you'd like to learn more and get involved in your local partnership, email shorebird@myfwc.com.

You can also join the flock on social media: Florida Shorebird Alliance Facebook Group