Media Releases

Be a Good Egg and Share the Shore this 4th of July

Help us protect beach-nesting birds by respecting posted nesting sanctuaries this Independence Day.

Oystercatchers forage on a beach.
American Oystercatcher parent and chick. Photo: Jesse Gordon/Audubon Photography Awards

DURHAM, N.C. - Beachgoers celebrating Independence Day won’t be alone this year. From the Cape Fear River to the Outer Banks, beach-nesting birds are hatching chicks and rearing young on North Carolina’s shores. People can celebrate and coexist with birds this holiday weekend by remembering to share the shore and keep a safe distance from nest sites.

We’ve been working hard this year to monitor and protect coastal birds like the American Oystercatcher across our nesting sanctuaries, and now is the time that many chicks have hatched and are at their most vulnerable.

"Entering nesting areas doesn’t just put well camouflaged eggs at risk of being stepped on, it separates adults from their young, and any parent knows that’s not a good thing," says Lindsay Addison, Audubon North Carolina’s coastal biologist.

Audubon North Carolina urges beachgoers to help these amazing birds raise their chicks by maintaining a safe distance from posted nesting sanctuaries from March 1 to September 15. If adult birds are disturbed from their nests, it only takes a few minutes for eggs or baby chicks to overheat in the sun.

Clean-up is important too. Trash left on beaches or along the shore can be mistaken for food and cause serious harm, not only to birds, but sea turtles and other wildlife. Litter, including food waste, can also attract unwanted predators to bird sanctuaries.

Audubon North Carolina works to keep waterbirds safe during the nesting season and throughout the year so they can continue to thrive in our state.

On this Independence Day, enjoy local celebrations and keep a safe distance from nesting waterbirds. Four simple rules for protecting beach-nesting birds:

  1. Keep your dogs leashed and away from posted nesting sanctuaries.
  2. Pick up any trash you create or find along the shore.
  3. Pay attention to signs and barriers and walk safely around roped-off sections of the beach.
  4. Even if you don’t see signs or fencing, if a bird is acting upset, calling or flying overhead, move back from the area—it probably has eggs or chicks nearby.

Media Contact: Ben Graham,

About Audubon North Carolina

Audubon North Carolina, a state program of the National Audubon Society, has offices in Durham, Boone, Corolla, and Wilmington. Learn more at and on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.​ The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Learn more at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.

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