Give Beach-Nesting Birds A Break

by Larry Jordan on July 3, 2011

Black Skimmer photo courtesy of  Bob Johns and American Bird Conservancy

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is asking beach goers  to give beach-nesting birds a break this fourth of July weekend.  There are many beach-nesting birds on our coasts and many are listed as threatened or species of conservation concern.

Here in northern California, the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society, as part of its continuing partnership with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, is working to monitor and protect shorebirds through the Save Our Shorebirds (SOS) project.  They are fighting hard to save the federally listed Western Snowy Plover (photo by Ron LeValley, courtesy of Mendocino Coast Audubon).

Here’s how Mike Parr, Vice President of ABC stated it, “It can sometimes be hard for the casual vacationer to see the difference between a bird that is simply sitting on the sand and one that is tending eggs or a nest, so the best thing for beachgoers to do is to avoid getting close to areas where larger congregations of birds are gathered, and to always respect areas that are roped off or marked with signs designating an area that is used by nesting birds.”

” The habitat for these birds is diminishing every year by beach development, erosion, and ever-increasing recreational use, so the birds can really use any break we can give them.  They have no other place to go.  Most beach-nesting birds lay eggs that are cryptically colored to blend in with sand and gravel, and can be hard to see until it is too late.”

You can watch a cool video created by the Morro Coast Audubon Society showing how you can help the Western Snowy Plover at

So please, steer clear of birds you may see on the beaches, especially if you are using a recreational vehicle.

If you want constant updates on bird conservation issues you can subscribe to the American Bird Conservancy‘s newsletter or go to my “Birds in the News” page that is continuously updated!

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