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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
(Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.) April 27, 2023 Suggested Tweet: Some #shorebirds
nest on rooftops, including protected species like black skimmers & least terns. @MyFWC thanks building owners
for hosting nesting birds: #Florida least tern pair on rooftop
Thank you, building owners, for hosting rooftop-nesting shorebirds The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) thanks building owners for hosting shorebird and seabird species, such as black skimmers,
least terns, roseate terns and American oystercatchers, that nest on their roofs from March through August.
Although shorebirds and seabirds typically nest directly on beaches along Florida’s coasts, as shoreline use
by people increases, there is less nesting space available and birds increasingly use gravel rooftops to nest
and raise chicks.

Building rooftops provide important alternative nesting habitat for shorebirds and seabirds, as most species
nesting on rooftops are state-Threatened species, including black skimmers and least terns. Notably, more
than 50% of Florida’s least tern population relies upon rooftops for nesting. Shorebird and seabird nesting
season takes place in Florida between February and August.

Building owners and managers play an important role in the success of shorebirds nesting on rooftops.
If you own or manage a building where shorebirds or seabirds are nesting on the roof, you can help by
giving the nesting birds space and coordinating with your FWC Regional Shorebird Biologist. To find
a regional shorebird biologist near you, go to and click on
Shorebird Nest Dates and Contacts.”

For buildings that have shorebirds nesting on rooftops, it is recommended that routine maintenance and
non-emergency repairs be conducted outside of nesting season, between September and February. If
unexpected repairs are required during the nesting season, building owners can work with the FWC’s
regional shorebird biologists to determine if take may occur and how to apply if a permit is needed. 

Don’t own a building with birds nesting on your rooftop? You can still help nesting shorebirds and
seabirds wherever they nest:
-Say thanks to building owners that host rooftop nesting birds. If you are staying at a hotel or visiting
a business that has rooftop nesting birds, thank management and staff for helping shorebird and
seabird conservation.

-You can help the FWC monitor rooftop nesting locations. Contact us for opportunities in your area
by emailing: [email protected].

-Do the flock walk on the beach — keep at least 300 feet from nesting birds and walk around flocks
of birds and stay out of posted areas. Getting too close to nesting shorebirds, seabirds and wading birds
can cause them to flush from their breeding sites, leaving vulnerable eggs and chicks exposed to the
elements and predators.

-Keep Fido at home. Even well-behaved dogs can frighten shorebirds, causing them to abandon their
eggs and chicks. If you bring your dog with you to the shore, go to a beach where they’re allowed and
follow all leash laws.

-Properly stash all trash. Trash and food scraps attract predators, such as raccoons and crows, that prey
on shorebird eggs and chicks. Litter on beaches and in the water can entangle birds, turtles and other
wildlife. Beachgoers can help beach-nesting birds and other native wildlife by properly disposing of
all trash, filling in human-made holes in the sand, and removing all personal gear from the beach before
sunset. Fishing line can be deadly to waterbirds, sea turtles and other wildlife, so be sure to dispose of it
properly. To find a monofilament recycling station near you, visit
-Look for Critical Wildlife Area closures. Be on the lookout for signs designating Critical Wildlife Areas
on the beach or coastal islands – these areas are closed to public access to protect high concentrations of
wading birds and shorebirds while they nest and raise their chicks. Boaters and beachgoers can help
nesting birds by keeping distance and noise volumes low near CWAs.

For more information, go to and click on “Rooftop Nesting.”

Spring is an active time for many of Florida’s wildlife species. For more information on wildlife in Spring,
visit and click on “Spring Wildlife News.”
least tern fledgling near rooftop vent
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QUESTIONS? Contact the FWC
Communications Cloud on behalf of: Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission · 620 S. Meridian Street · Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600 · (850) 488-4676 GovDelivery logo
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