Seabirds are often the first thing we see—and hear—on the coast. A day at the beach would be incomplete without spotting terns, plovers, Black Skimmers or Brown Pelicans. These iconic birds nest in coastal habitats like beaches and barrier islands, where they are affected by the pressures of human development and sea level rise. Boaters and beachgoers, unaware that birds are nesting at these sites, may get too close, flushing parents from their eggs and chicks. Without the protection of their parents, well-camouflaged chicks and eggs can be crushed underfoot, overheat in the sun without shade from their parents, or succumb to opportunistic predators like crows and gulls.
That's where you come in. Audubon's Coastal Bird Stewardship Program trains volunteers to protect our coastal nesting birds through long-term monitoring, signage and fencing, beachgoer education, and working with coastal communities.
How to be a coastal steward for nesting shorebirds
- Keep your group, vehicle, and pets a respectful distance—and encourage others to do the same. Be aware of rules, signage and fencing, and always clean up trash.
- Volunteer for a local coastal stewardship program or connect with a an Audubon chapter.
- See a need for better stewardship on your beach? Download Audubon’s toolkit, a guide to engaging in advocacy, organizing volunteers, and being proactive in your community.
Together, we can share the shore.
Louisiana Beach Rocked by Two Hurricanes is Ready for Nesting Birds
Volunteers removed thousands of pounds of hurricane debris and helped southwest Louisiana bounce back from a tough hurricane season.
New Science Reveals the Big Impact Stewardship Has on Coastal Birds
Birds like terns and plovers that are vulnerable to human disturbance need active stewardship to thrive.
An Early-season Tropical Storm Wiped out Mississippi’s Beach-nesting Birds
Hundreds of secretive Clapper Rails also mysteriously found on Mississippi beaches.
Coastal Stewardship Is Helping Gulf Birds Recover
Audubon’s Coastal Bird Stewardship Program protects birds that nest on the very edge of our world.
Florida's Shorebirds Saw a Big Breeding Bump After Hurricane Michael
The hurricane's storm surge created optimal nesting habitat for Snowy Plovers and other beach birds, newly released data show.
How to Become a Bird-friendly Beachgoer
Going to the beach is great, but people aren’t the only ones who enjoy it. Here’s how you can protect shorebirds while soaking up the sun.
These birds need your help