Holiday Weekend Tips for a Safe Day at the Beach

Make sure everyone has a happy holiday weekend, including our coastal birds.

Birds that nest on beaches and islands are sensitive to disturbances, the increase in visitors during the summer can be devastating to their nesting sites, eggs, and chicks.

When people and dogs wander too close to nesting areas, the adult birds leave their eggs and chicks, exposing them to extreme temperatures and predators, such as gulls and crows. It does not take long for young chicks or chicks in eggs to overheat and die from exposure to the July temperatures.

Least Tern and chick. Photo by Walker Golder.

The eggs or chicks of terns, skimmers, and other shorebirds are perfectly camouflaged to resemble their surroundings. They can be easily stepped on and crushed, and they are impossible to see from a vehicle.

Please follow these few, easy tips to make sure that birds are safe this holiday weekend and all summer long:

  • Respect posted nesting sites. Obey the signs and keep a safe distance away so that birds can nest in peace. Nests and chicks need the attention of their parents and disturbance can kill them.
  • Keep your dog on your boat or on a leash, and at least 150 yards away from posted nesting sites.
  • Avoid disturbing birds. If birds take flight, call loudly and appear agitated, hover over you or an area nearby, or attack you, it means that you are too close. Please move to a safe distance.
  • Enjoy the sanctioned and approved firework celebrations. Impromptu fireworks can have devastating effects on nesting birds, their nests and chicks.
  • Please do not fly kites near nesting and feeding areas. This will cause birds to leave their nests or chicks leaving them vulnerable to predators and extreme temperatures, which can kill them.
  • Take your trash with you, including bait and food scraps. Trash is attracts predators.
  • Discarded fishing line entangles and kills birds.

Least Tern. Photo by Walker Golder.

How you can help, right now