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Bird Survey and Monitoring


Shorebird surveys provide important information about when and where shorebirds and seabirds occur in Florida.  FSA partners organize and participate in a variety of shorebird and seabird surveys throughout the year.  Most surveys are simple and provide a “snapshot” of how birds are distributed during certain times of the year (for example, breeding season and non-breeding season).  Other surveys are more involved; these include long-term studies to identify trends in distribution and abundance over time.   


FSA partners work within an adaptive management framework.  A crucial component to adaptive management is long-term monitoring.  Long-term monitoring of nests and colonies enables us to detect changes in the abundance, distribution, and overall productivity of breeding shorebirds and seabirds over time.  Monitoring also allows us to better understand the effects of various factors (e.g. habitat loss, predators, disease, pollution) on shorebird and seabird populations.  Based on the data received from monitoring, FSA partners can implement effective management strategies and develop conservation guidelines.  


Shorebird monitoring efforts are organized locally by biologists or land managers for a particular site, and regionally by the FSA partnerships.  Since 2011, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has maintained an online monitoring database called the Florida Shorebird Database (FSD).  The FSD is the central repository for data collected on breeding shorebirds and seabirds in Florida.  

Learn more about surveys and monitoring and how to get involved: 


Breeding Bird Monitoring and Winter Survey Photo Credit: Jack Rogers
Roof-top Nesting Photo Credit: Bonnie Samuelsen