About this Collection
Shorebird populations have exhibited one of the largest declines (-37%) of any bird group. Shorebirds cross thousands of miles each year from the barren tundra of the arctic to the wind-swept beaches of Tierra del Fuego in the southern hemisphere. Most shorebirds breed in Alaska and Canada and spend their non-breeding period in South American or Caribbean countries. Along the way, they use a diverse set of habitats ranging from intertidal mudflats, sandy beaches, and rocky coastlines to freshwater wetlands, grasslands, plowed fields, and flooded agricultural lands.
During migration, shorebirds face many challenges, including finding sufficient food sources to fuel their long-distance migrations, avoiding predators, competing for limited habitat, disturbance from human activities, adapting to a changing climate, and succumbing to sport and subsistence hunting.
How You Can Help:
- Learn the rules of the beach you are visiting and respect signs and beach restrictions.
- Properly dispose of your trash - garbage attracts predators like gulls and crows that prey on shorebird eggs.
- Give birds space – take care not to disturb birds nesting, feeding, and resting. A good rule is that if you notice a bird noticing you, you are too close. Learn more about Sharing the Shore (Share the Shore | AFSI (atlanticflywayshorebirds.org).
- Follow leash laws and do not bring your pet to a beach that does not allow dogs – even good dogs frighten birds!
- Avoid driving on the beach during nesting season.
- For all our budding photographers, lead by example to others and be sure to use a telephoto lens, take pictures from a safe distance, and respect your subject's space.
- Kites and drones often scare birds, so take care not to disturb birds with these, especially while the birds are nesting and during their migrations. As drones are considered aircraft, the Airborne Hunting Act includes protections for birds from harassment by drones.
- Support the protection of wetland and mudflat habitats.
- If you eat seafood, select sustainable fisheries-certified seafood that is bird safe Rice fields can provide excellent habitat for migrating shorebirds. Buy sustainably grown rice from U.S. producers.
- Learn about the efforts with our partners to reduce threats and implement conservation actions to reverse shorebird declines throughout the Western hemisphere.