Red Knot Shorebird Begin Their 9,000 Mile Migration to Florida’s Beaches for the Winter

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Red Knot Shorebird can be seen on Florida's beaches, including the Space Coast

The red knot takes flying south for the winter very seriously. Each year, these small shorebirds migrate as far as 9000 miles from their arctic breeding grounds all the way to the southern tip of South America. (FWC image)

(FWC) – The red knot takes flying south for the winter very seriously. Each year, these small shorebirds migrate as far as 9,000 miles from their arctic breeding grounds all the way to the southern tip of South America.

This time of year, they can be seen on Florida’s beaches, including the Space Coast. Be sure to give them space to rest their tired wings.

Several species of shorebirds and seabirds nest along the beaches of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida. Habitat loss and degradation associated with coastal development has largely restricted many of these species to stretches of beach within parks and preserves.

This group of birds is particularly sensitive to human disturbance since environmental conditions on beaches are already harsh and unpredictable.

For example, one dog passing near a colony of nesting seabirds can cause all the birds to panic and subsequently leave their nests dangerously exposed to the hot boiling sun.

How you can help protect beach-nesting birds:

Never enter areas posted with shorebird/seabird signs.

Avoid driving on or beyond the upper beach.

Drive slow enough to avoid running over chicks.

Keep dogs on a leash and away from areas where birds may be nesting.

Keep cats indoors and do not feed stray cats.

Properly dispose of trash to keep predators away.

Do not fly kites near areas where birds may be nesting.

When birds are aggravated, you are too close.

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