Education | Conservation | Advocacy

Manatee County

Audubon Society

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Conservation efforts encompass a broad range of initiatives aimed at preserving and protecting natural environments and biodiversity. Bird habitat conservation is a specific subset of these efforts, focusing on safeguarding the places where birds live, breed and feed

Conservation is vital to protect bird habitats for several reasons:

  • Biodiversity: Birds play a crucial role in ecosystems by pollinating plants and controlling insect populations. Protecting their habitats help maintain biodiversity.
  • Ecosystem services: Birds provide ecosystem services such as seed dispersal, which helps regenerate plant species and maintain healthy ecosystems.
  • Indicator Species: Birds are often considered indicator species. Changes in their populations can signal environmental health or degradation.
  • Cultural and Aesthetic Value: Birds are culturally significant and provide aesthetic and recreational value, contributing to human well-being
  • Climate Change Mitigation: Bird habitats, like forests and wetlands, help sequester carbon and mitigate climate change impacts.


Protecting bird habitats is essential for the overall health of our planet and its ecosystems.

Beach Nesting Birds

Species in Trouble

Many of Florida’s beach-nesting shorebirds and seabirds have experienced declines as a result of habitat loss and excessive disturbance at nests and colonies. In response, here are easy ways you can help our effort.


  • Please respect posted areas for beach-nesting birds and set an example for beachgoers around you.

  • Many nests are not posted. Please pay careful attention where you step in order to avoid stepping on a nest. Agitated adults are an indication a nest may be near.

  • Keep dogs leashed. An unleashed dog can destroy a colony in minutes.


  • Avoid walking in or near the wrack line or areas with dense seaweed and debris since these areas are frequently used by chicks as foraging habitat and shelter.

  • Chicks are very mobile soon after hatching and can be found well outside posted areas. As with nests, agitated adults may signify a chick is nearby, proceed carefully.

  • If you find a chick without an adult nearby, do not assume it has been abandoned and try to pick it up.

Click me to enlarge!

Florida Scrub Jay Watch

Audubon Florida’s Jay Watch program helps survey and monitor Florida Scrub Jay populations across the state. The Florida scrub jay is a federally threatened species and is the only endemic bird species to the state of Florida.

These birds are quite unique forming cooperative breeding family groups and thrive in Florida scrub habitats. However, scrub jays are constantly under threat from development and lack of adequate habitat management. If you would like to help save this species in our county we hope you volunteer for one of the largest citizen science projects across the state.

In 2018 alone 269 volunteers put in almost 3,000 hours to help survey and track jays across 46 different sites. You could add your name to the list this year! Volunteering consists of being trained on how to identify and survey for Florida scrub jays and then accompanying a group of fellow Jay Watchers into the field and counting jays! This data is directly used to help understand the status of scrub jays across the state.

If you are interested in helping Manatee County become a stronghold for this species let us know by contacting Kay Prophet at