Let 'em Rest, Let 'em Nest

American Oystercatchers are gawky favorites on a Carolina beach. Photo: David Pugsley

Let 'em Rest, Let 'em Nest encourages South Carolina beachgoers to share their play-scape with coastal birds.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of birds use local beaches to forage for food, hatch their young, and rest during long migrations.  Disturbance to these birds can be life-threatening.  

When we scare a bird off a nest, for example, it takes just minutes for the hot sun to kill its eggs or chicks. In fact, disturbance is one reason for the abrupt decline of species like the Least Terns, Wilson's Plovers, and Piping Plovers.

You Can Help!

Make a difference by following these seven simple steps while along the coast:

  1. Keep away from birds.
  2. Respect posted nesting and feeding areas.
  3. Don’t force birds to fly.
  4. Keep pets on a leash.
  5. Keep the beach trash-free.
  6. Be mindful of where you land your boat.
  7. Teach others to protect birds on our beaches.

How close to a bird is too close?  If birds react – calling loudly or taking flight – step back immediately.  A good rule is to stay at least 50 yards away, or half the length of a football field.

 What We’re Doing 

Audubon staff travels widely, visiting everyplace from sailing clubs to elementary classrooms to spread the word about protecting coastal birds.  School kids design colorful protective signs, then we post them on nearby beaches.  

Spreading the word about sea turtle conservation has made an enormous difference.  We're determined to create an equal storm of interest in protecting coastal birds.  

Thanks to strong new partnerships with the Charleston Animal Society and author Mary Alice Monroe, we're enjoying excellent media coverage and new victories every day!  

PROJECT CONTACT:  Nolan Schillerstrom, nschillerstrom@audubon.org