Shorebird nesting season begins
Shorebird and seabird nesting season began February 15 all over Florida, so it’s important to protect the birds and their eggs. Susie Derheimer, a Coastal Environmental Specialist with Charlotte County, says the birds lay their eggs directly on the sand at the beach, so they are completely exposed and easy to miss.
Charlotte and other counties mark nesting areas with line fencing. Derheimer asks that people who see a nest stay away from it.
“Don’t go near it,” says Derheimer. “There could be some eggs outside of it, so always be aware. If you are near a nesting area, birds will become agitated, you’re too close, you need to move away. Certain birds will divebomb you, so you will know for sure you are disturbing the birds. Other birds are a little more passive and they will actually do a broken wing display. It looks like they’re injured and they’ll try to draw you away from the nest. So if you see a bird acting like its wing is broken, it’s a plover, you are near a nest and it’s trying to draw you away.”
Dogs are considered predators by shorebirds, so don’t bring yours to the beach, even on a leash. And keep an eye out until August 31, when nesting season ends.
If you’d like to help the shorebirds, go to Florida Shorebird Alliance.
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