Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

FWC Thanks Building Owners Who Provide Rooftop-Nesting Habitats for Shorebirds


Florida - Sunday April 14, 2024: Shorebirds and seabirds typically nest directly on beaches along Florida’s coasts but as shorelines get busier, species such as black skimmers, least terns, roseate terns and American oyster catchers increasingly use gravel rooftops to nest and raise chicks.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) thanks those building owners who host shorebird and seabird species nesting on their roofs this season.

Shorebird and seabird nesting season takes place in Florida between Feb. 15 and Sept.1 – varying by region and county. Most rooftop nesting occurs between April and September, but rooftop nesting can begin as early as February for American oyster catchers in some regions. Building rooftops provide important alternative nesting habitat for shorebirds and seabirds, as most species nesting on rooftops are imperiled. Approximately 50% of Florida’s least tern population relies upon rooftops for nesting.

Building owners and managers are key to the success of shorebirds nesting on rooftops. If you own or manage a building where shorebirds or seabirds are nesting on the roof, you can help with nesting success by giving the nesting birds space and coordinating with your FWC Regional Shorebird Biologist. To find a regional shorebird biologist near you, go to and click on “Shorebird Nest Dates and Contacts.”

For buildings that have shorebirds nesting on rooftops, it is recommended that routine maintenance and non-emergency repairs be conducted outside of shorebird nesting season, between September and February. If unexpected repairs are required during the nesting season, building owners can work with FWC regional shorebird biologists to determine if take could occur and how to apply if a permit is needed.