The International Shorebird Survey is an effort to monitor the migrating populations of some of the longest distance migrants in the world. Shorebirds migrate thousands of miles every year and rely on stopover sites to rest and refuel. More information on the survey itself can be found on eBird.org and Manomet's website. This monitoring allows coastal managers and biologists keep a close eye on populations and advise lawmakers and beachgoers on how to better protect this valuable natural resource.
Remember that it is important to avoid resting flocks of shorebirds during all times of the year, but especially in the spring and fall. When these long distance migrants finally get a chance to stopover on beaches along SC's coast, many are already on the brink of death, desparate to eat and rest in order to complete their journey. Chasing through flocks of resting beach birds can be deadly to them because it causes them to expend what little energy they have left - energy they need to use to find food.
At high tide, most food sources are covered by ocean water. This means we need to be extra careful at high tide not to flush resting shorebirds or let dogs off leash to run through flocks.
Audubon staff and volunteers conduct spring, and fall surveys at multiple sites throughout the state. Contact Audubon South Carolina's Coastal Program Coordinator if you are interested in accompanying us for a survey.
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