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Increase Nesting Success

Waterbirds concentrate in wetlands and beaches each spring and summer to nest. Seabirds nest above the high tide line on bare sand with little or no vegetation and lay their eggs in nests that are little more than scrapes in the sand. The eggs and chicks are camouflaged perfectly to match their sandy environment. Shorebird downy chicks, looking like tiny fluff balls, leave their nests soon after hatching. Chicks often hang out on the beach with their parents for several weeks or months until they are able to fly and fend for themselves. Management actions can reduce mortality of waterbird nests.

Brown Pelicans Nesting

Reduce Disturbance
Posting signs is critical to the success of nesting shorebirds and seabirds. Nests, eggs, and young chicks can easily get trampled and destroyed where pedestrian or vehicle traffic is present. In addition, waterbirds are very sensitive to disturbance. When people, pets, or
vehicles approach too closely to a nest or colony, adults will depart and leave the eggs or chicks temporarily exposed to the elements or nearby predators. Placing signs demarcating nesting areas help educate the public and can reduce nest loss.


Reduce Predators
Predators can destroy waterbird nests but there are many techniques to reduce their negative effect on nesting success. Predator management may include preventing pets from entering nesting areas, fire ant control or mammalian exclosures.


Monitor Nests
Nest monitoring will help managers identify additional actions needed to reduce nest mortality. Monitoring allows projects to be evaluated for effectiveness.

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