Alabama Coastal Bird Stewardship Program
The Alabama Coastal Bird Stewardship Program (ALCBSP) has provided critical protection and monitoring for our state’s sensitive beach-nesting bird populations since 2017. Administered by Alabama Audubon staff at both our Birmingham headquarters and in our Mobile-based field office, the program utilizes local volunteers to monitor and enhance the breeding success of several species of concern on the beaches of Mobile and Baldwin Counties. This work complements similar National Audubon Society initiatives across the Gulf of Mexico, including programs in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
Monitoring & Stewardship
The ALCBSP works directly towards conserving least terns, black skimmers, snowy plovers, Wilson’s plovers, American oystercatchers, and reddish egrets during the breeding season and promotes public awareness to ensure their survivorship. Our staff and volunteers monitor critical nesting sites to determine nest success, fledgling success, breeding densities, and causes of nest failure. The stewardship portion of the program provides outreach and awareness by engaging the public through volunteer opportunities and stewardship. Coastal bird stewards act as the eyes, ears, and voice for nesting birds by maintaining the health and safety of nesting areas using symbolic fencing and public outreach.
Audubon Coastal Bird Surveys
Audubon Coastal Bird Surveys (ACBS) provide scientists with valuable data for addressing conservation needs of coastal waterbirds along the gulf coast. Originally established by the National Audubon Society in response to the 2010’s Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill, ACBS continues to help conservation planners assess threats and identify target species experiencing population declines. Alabama Audubon staff and volunteers continue to collect ACBS data at eighteen sites across Mobile and Baldwin Counties during the fall, winter, and spring. All species are documented during surveys, with focus on several priority species including Wilson’s plover, snowy plover, piping plover, American oystercatcher, red knot, least tern, black skimmer, and reddish egret.
Alabama’s coastal habitats (beaches, marshes, and islands) provide critical nesting, foraging, and overwintering grounds for many species of shorebirds and seabirds. These habitats represent highly dynamic ecosystems that are particularly sensitive to erosion, sea-level rise, annual weather and tidal regimes, climate change, and human development and disturbance. Coastal birds, and especially those that nest on beachfronts, are particularly threatened by these pressures and are exceptionally sensitive to human recreational disturbances. In addition, mammalian predators have proven to be highly detrimental to Alabama’s beach-nesting bird populations, with particularly dire consequences for colonial species like terns and skimmers.
Click here to learn about ways you can get involved with our coastal programs!
Join us on the beach!
Click on an event to see when and where you can join our staff for beach-nesting bird stewardship.
You can also find other coastal events on this calendar or on our events page.
The Alabama Coastal Bird Stewardship Program is supported by the National Audubon Society through funding from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Other coastal projects are supported by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Northern Gulf Coastal Program, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism, the Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation, the Skelton Foundation, and the Sybil & White Smith Foundation.
Interview with Mobile Public Library
Learn about our fascinating coastal birds and the importance of Dauphin Island as a migratory stopover on the Mississippi Flyway with Olivia and Sabrina as they talk with the Mobile Public Library!