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Shorebird Nesting on Pensacola Beach


Escambia County -  With the crowds of people expected this weekend on our beaches.
   
Gulf Islands National Seashore and Audubon Florida are educating visitors about shorebird nesting.
   
Two types of birds nest in our area solitary nesters and colony.
 Gulf Islands National Seashore officials have taken many steps to protect the shoreline birds.

They have placed speed bumps on Ft. Pickens road and put up more speed limit signs reminding drivers to not exceed 20 miles per hour.

Two hundred birds killed each year after being struck by cars on Fort Pickens.
 "It's critically important that people go slow enough to give the birds a chance to get off the road," said Dan Brown.
   
 "It's always sad to see an animal squashed on the highway, so by obeying the speed limit we can help preserve  some wildlife I'm all for it," said Mary Thiesen.
   
Mary Thiesen and her family vacation at Ft. Pickens frequently.
But, have yet to see any birds nesting.

They say when they finally get a glimpse they know what to do.
 "If we saw a nest we would leave it alone because it's wildlife. It's not my pet cats at home they wouldn't want us interfering with them," said Thiesen.
   
Gulf Island National Seashore Superintendent Dan Brown says they are exactly right.
The birds can become aggressive and leave their nest, potentially killing their eggs or hatchlings.
   
 "Anytime they get off their nest they leave their eggs exposed and here they sit on their nest not so much to keep the eggs warm, but to keep the eggs from over heating," said Brown.

 Bird nesting is expected to end sometime in August.