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Beach Bird Nesting Season Begins March 1

Audubon Florida
A Least Tern nesting on Navarre Bridge in the Florida Panhandle.

The month of March marks the official start of the beach bird nesting season and Audubon Florida wants beach goers to be careful while hanging out by the shore.

Audubon Florida director of bird conservation, Marianne Korosy, said many beach birds nest directly on the sand, and advises people to be mindful when approaching birds that appear to be resting.

"A lot of times makes people think 'oh the birds are just sitting there, resting', when they’re actually incubating eggs because they don’t see the stick nest that, you know, we usually see in a tree," Korosy said. 

Korosy recommends for people to keep their dogs on leashes when visiting the beach during this time and to throw away trash that could be harmful to chicks.  

"Baby birds, they’re hungry all the time and they can pick up cigarette butts or bottle caps, things like that and accidentally eat them, and it can kill them," Korosy said. 

Audubon Florida has deployed thousands of volunteers and staff to mark and protect nesting colonies throughout beach bird nesting season, which Korosy says runs through Labor Day weekend.