Tampa Bay shorebirds dealt with record heat this summer

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Snowy Plover // Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Steve Berardi

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Summer this year was one of the hottest on record in the Tampa Bay Area, and shorebirds in Tampa Bay dealt with heat and other environmental factors.

The Black Skimmer is one of many shorebirds in the Tampa Bay area. Shorebirds feed along the shoreline. They typically have longer legs and bills, and forage by running along the shoreline and probing in the sand.

But, due to recent extreme heat, they’re facing more of a threat. Audrey Derose-Wilson is the director of bird conservation for Audubon Florida.

“In the heat, the birds need to get down to the shoreline to cool off, and this makes them more vulnerable to being disturbed by people”

Other factors, such as high tides and summer storms, drenched beaches in overwash in Pinellas County, wiping out many Snowy Plover, Least Tern, Black Skimmer and Wilson’s Plover nests.

Derose-Wilon says Audubon Florida has petitioned for protections for the Wilson’s Plover.

“We requested that the state review the Wilson’s Plover for listing, and potentially add it to the list of state-listed species”

You can read the full report on Florida’s shorebird nesting season on Audubon Florida’s website.

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