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Heading to the beaches over the 4th of July? Watch for shorebird nests

If you’re heading to the beaches in northern Duval or Nassau County over the 4th of July holiday weekend, you might notice some areas closed due to shorebird nesting.

That includes Huguenot Park, where the northern portion of the beach is closed due to nesting season.

Allison Convoy, with Florida Park Services, said the department will mark off the areas in late February or early March -- when the season begins.

“They do what’s called scraping, so instead of building a nest like a bird in a tree, they actually just kind of move the sand, make a little cup and then maybe decorate it with some driftwood or some shells,” Convoy said.

Northeast Florida has three critical wildlife areas, which tend to be prime nesting spots for the birds.

If you’re walking some of the white sandy beaches over the busy holiday weekend you may come across a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission employee watching over the nests

“It will be busy. We definitely get a lot of people out there,” Convoy said.

Tyler Duplaga, shorebird biologist with the FWC, wants to make sure that the community stays alert and keeps an eye out for the posted signs.

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“We encourage people to come up to us and ask about the birds so we can educate them and hopefully give them an idea of what’s going on out there,” Duplaga said.

Remember, you cannot enter areas that are closed because of critical wildlife. You could put birds and chicks at risk.


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