Coasts

Share the Love, #ShareTheShore

Urgent Call for Help! #ShareTheShore COVID-19 Update: Plovers and other vulnerable shorebirds have always practiced social distancing – from people and pets, that is. Unfortunately, our beaches are currently seeing increased foot traffic and off-leash animals. Due to current restrictions, stewardship and monitoring activities are slowed, limited, or on hold (depending on the site), so birds may nest in areas that haven’t been posted or fenced by staff and volunteers.

Even if they stay within protected areas, birds are easily scared off their nests and away from chicks by humans and dogs who get too close. WE NEED YOUR HELP MORE THAN EVER to spread the word to #ShareTheShore!

SHARE THE LOVE, #SHARETHESHORE

Depending on how “birdy” your feed is on social media, you may have come across the hashtag #ShareTheShore. Or maybe you’ve seen it touted on a sign at your local beach.

#ShareTheShore is Audubon's effort to protect nesting shorebirds like Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers, and their teeny, tiny chicks.

It’s our way of uniting our voices as scientists, bird-lovers, and beachgoers who are dedicated to reducing the threats posed to vulnerable beach-nesting birds.

Birds' survival depends on our actions, on the beach and off. If we want to enjoy their fun, fuzzy presence in the future, we have to educate our friends and family today.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR TEMPLATES 

If you would like to "level up" your efforts and go beyond sharing the love on social media—send it to your local newspaper in the form of a letter to the editor!

Click here to see sample letters of varying length that you can use as a template to get started. NOTE: keep in mind, most media outlets prefer letters to be 200-300 words max. Check their website before you write!

MESSAGES TO SHARE

Great for photographers, educators, local community members, beach-based staff, beach-based businesses!

  • Social distancing is a new concept for humans, but it’s ALWAYS been important for nesting shorebirds! Tiny chicks and parents perceive people as predators, so frightening these birds threatens their survival. Share the Love, #ShareTheShore https://ny.audubon.org/conservation/protect-beach-nesting-birds
     
  • Here's a photo of a loving Piping Plover family! These birds are NY State-endangered, and they need space to successfully raise chicks on our beaches. These birds were in a roped-off nesting area on a public beach, and I photographed them with a long lens from outside the border. They don't ask for much from us... just room to raise a family. Share the Love, #ShareTheShore
     
  • How do you know you've scared a nesting shorebird, seabird, or flock by getting too close? If they fly away. If they do weird things with their wings, making them look broken, to distract you away from their nest. If they poop on you. If they "call" (make an alarm sound). These birds need space to thrive! Let 'em nest, let 'em rest. Share the Love, #ShareTheShore  http://ny.audubon.org/bgepledge
     
  • Beach tips for bird lovers! Please walk close to the water on the lower beach, so travel-weary birds can rest on the upper beach. Usually signs or people will alert you to these areas, but due to the COVID-19 response, many normal posting and fencing efforts are delayed. Share the love, #ShareTheShore! More here: http://bit.ly/1WMTuf4 
     
  • We’re not the only ones who need to #shelterinplace this spring. Beach nesting birds like Piping Plovers are easily scared off their nests and away from chicks by humans and dogs who get too close. Teeny, tiny chicks depend on their parents' constant presence to help regulate their body temperature and keep them safe! Please, now and always, maintain your distance from shorebirds. Share the Love, #ShareTheShore
     
  • Know before you go! Most beaches in NY don’t actually allow dogs and even small, well-behaved dogs can scare beach-nesting birds and migrating shorebirds. Pet owners, help set the example for how to "Share the Love, #ShareTheShore" 
     

LINKS TO SHARE

https://ny.audubon.org/10-ways-help-beach-nesting-birds

https://ny.audubon.org/conservation/protect-beach-nesting-birds

"Be a Good Egg" pledge: http://ny.audubon.org/bge

eNews signup: http://ny.audubon.org/signup

Click here to make a donation in support of Audubon New York's work protecting birds and the places they need: http://ny.audubon.org/donate

IMAGES TO SHARE

Click here to download a selection of shorebird photos and graphics to post online along with "Share the Love, #ShareTheShore" messaging!

Photos for Use
All photos available for download are labeled with appropriate photo credit. If you crop the photo, credit MUST be provided in the caption.

VIDEOS TO SHARE

GREAT EXAMPLES

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“You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don't. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly.” ~Rumi Thank you for the warm response to the tern family photo I posted yesterday. Here's another photo of a Least Tern family-a chick testing out her wings while her mother looks on. These seabirds are endangered in the state of New Jersey where I photographed them. They were in a roped off nesting area on a public beach, and I photographed them with a long lens from outside the border. They don't ask for much from us to have a successful breeding season--just that we give them space and keep our dogs leashed. Coastal development and increased flooding, the elevated recreational use of beaches, and the many predators their young face (they can't fly for their first four weeks of life, and all kinds of things eat them, from foxes to feral cats to crows to gulls), all combine to make survival and procreation tough for these beautiful terns. #sharetheshore @ilcp_photographers @natgeoimagecollection #natgeoimagecollection @nikonusa #nikon #beawildlifewarrior #terns #leastterns #newjersey

A post shared by Melissa Groo (@melissagroo) on

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In reviewing pics from last summer’s shorebird photo trip (and preparing for this year’s), I came across this one. I love the bird’s pose (with its head bowed and tail raised, it almost creates the illusion of a headless bird), and how it stands out against the soft sand. As we get into #beachseason, it’s important to remember to be aware of nesting shorebirds and #sharetheshore responsibly. Birds like this threatened Piping Plover carve out tiny scrapes in the sand to lay their eggs, and since their camouflage is so effective, they are often hard to spot and so are particularly susceptible to harm from humans. If you are visiting a beach on the Atlantic coast this summer, keep a keen eye and watch your step! Also, if you bring your pup with you, keep them on a leash.

A post shared by Nico Sarbanes (@nicosarbanes) on