As the shorebird and seabird nesting season is underway, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission thanks building owners for harboring species such as black skimmers, lesser terns, Roseate owl and American oystercatchers that nest on their roofs from March to August.
Shorebirds and seabirds typically nest directly on beaches along Florida’s coastlines, however, as our coastlines become more crowded, less nesting space is available and birds use more plus gravel roofs for nesting and rearing chicks.
Most rooftop-nesting shorebirds and seabirds are state-threatened species, such as black skimmers and pygmy terns. Currently, more than 50% of Florida’s smaller tern population depends on rooftops for nesting.
Shorebird and seabird nesting season occurs in Florida between March and August. For buildings where shorebirds nest on roofs, it is recommended that routine maintenance and non-emergency repairs be carried out outside the nesting season, between September and February.
If unscheduled repairs are needed during the nesting season, building owners can work with FWC Regional Shorebird Biologists to determine if they might occur and how to apply if a permit is needed.
What can you do to help rooftop-nesting shorebirds?
Thank the owners of buildings that welcome birds that nest on roofs. If you are staying at a hotel or visiting a business that has rooftop nesting birds, thank the management and staff for their help in shorebird and seabird conservation.
Volunteer. You can help the FWC monitor rooftop nesting locations. Contact us for opportunities in your area by emailing: [email protected]
Building owners and managers play an important role. If you own or manage a building where shorebirds or seabirds nest on the roof, you can help by providing space for nesting birds and coordinating with your FWC Regional Shorebird Biologist. To find a Regional Shorebird Biologist near you, go to MyFWC.com/Shorebirds and click “Shorebird Nest Dates and Contacts.”
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