Several species of shorebirds and seabirds nest along the beaches of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida. Habitat loss and degradation associated with coastal development has largely restricted many of these species to stretches of beach within parks and preserves. This group of birds is particularly sensitive to human disturbance since environmental conditions on beaches are already harsh and unpredictable.
For example, one dog passing near a colony of nesting seabirds can cause all the birds to panic and subsequently leave their nests dangerously exposed to the hot boiling sun.
How you can help protect beach-nesting birds:
- Never enter areas posted with shorebird/seabird signs.
- Avoid driving on or beyond the upper beach.
- Drive slow enough to avoid running over chicks.
- Keep dogs on a leash and away from areas where birds may be nesting.
- Keep cats indoors, and do not feed stray cats.
- Properly dispose of trash to keep predators away.
- Do not fly kites near areas where birds may be nesting.
- When birds are aggravated, you are too close
Shorebird nesting season runs from February through August. Indian Shores is home to several imperiled species of shore birds. Many of these species nest directly on the beach and their nests can be difficult to detect.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and and the Audubon Society mark these nests to help preserve the species as their natural environment becomes threatened.
Please see the following links for more information about these very special residents of our town: