Birds In the News

Coastal birds are nesting on Folly beaches this spring

Audubon South Carolina wants you to be a part of their comeback story

This story was originally published in the Folly Current on June 7th, 2022

All along the Atlantic coast, as people flock to their favorite coastal destinations for sun and fun, shorebirds and seabirds return with them to nest and rest. Folly Beach’s Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve is one such beach where these birds fly to from wintering grounds as far away as the Caribbean and South America. Our coast provides an important habitat for birds to nest and raise their young right on the beach, and to do so successfully, they need their space.

Audubon South Carolina and the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission invite locals and visitors in welcoming back these birds to Folly Beach Lighthouse Inlet. Birds use the flat high-ground areas on the beach to nest so these groups are asking beachgoers to walk-the-waterline and keep your distance from the shorebird nesting.

“The biggest thing we want people to know before they head to the beach is that these birds need their space,” says Nolan Schillerstrom, Audubon SC’s Coastal Program Associate. “When people knowingly or unknowingly get too close to a nesting area, adult birds may be frightened away from their eggs and chicks–which they spend all season tirelessly protecting. This leaves their babies vulnerable to fatally high temperatures, being eaten by predators, and even being crushed under foot.”

While these harmful actions may be unintentional, it’s important to give birds space as they raise their young. This summer, you can be a part of their conservation at Folly Beach Lighthouse Inlet, and any beach in South Carolina, by walking the waterline and giving nesting birds the space they need to raise their young.

Folly Beach is Part of a Much Bigger Picture, and You Can Be, Too

Many coastal birds are in decline, including Least Terns and Wilson’s Plovers that nest at Folly Beach Lighthouse Inlet. Audubon SC wants to show people just how special these birds are by giving them the red-carpet treatment. “At Folly Lighthouse Inlet, shorebirds really are the ‘stars.’ They work nonstop through the spring and summer to hatch and raise their chicks. That’s a lot of hard work” says Allyssa Zebrowski, Coastal Stewardship Coordinator at Audubon SC. “This part of Folly is so beautiful and unique that we wanted to give it the credit that it’s due”.

From April to July, stop by Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve at Folly Beach to learn how you can give shorebirds the “red carpet treatment” by simply walking the waterline as you stroll the Inlet. See some amazing artwork on the way to the beach by South Carolina artist, Tennyson Corley, meet some of our dedicated Shorebird Steward volunteers on the weekends, and learn more about how to share the shore with our beach nesting birds this summer.

Want to learn more about how you can help protect shorebirds? Visit our website to learn more about human disturbance and the role Folly Beach has in country-wide shorebird protection:

How you can help, right now