Northwest Region

Nick Vitale
Regional Shorebird Biologist

North Central/Northeast Regions

Hailey Garcia
Regional Shorebird Biologist

Southwest Region

Tyson Dallas
Regional Shorebird Biologist

South Region

Ricardo Zambrano
Regional Biologist


For more information on local/regional FSA partnerships please visit the Florida Shorebird Alliance (FSA) website.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

There’s a lot of information on this website, where do I start?

Please visit the Instructions tab for all the information you need to get started. You will find an introduction to the species of beach-nesting birds in Florida, as well as detailed information on the protocol developed to monitor these birds. In addition, there is information on how to use the field forms and how to enter your observations into the database.

Are there instructions on how to use this website?

For instructions on monitoring and collecting data please review the protocol: Step 4 - Collecting Data.
For instructions on how to enter your data please view the video tutorials: Step 5 - Entering Data.

Where can I download a copy of the protocol?

Visit the Resources tab to download the complete protocol in a pdf format.

Where are the datasheets?

Visit the Resources tab to download the datasheets in a pdf format.

Where is my old data?

If you entered data in FWC’s Beach-Nesting Bird website between 2005 and 2010, you can request those data by contacting us contacting us. Data entered in the Florida Shorebird Database between 2011 and current year can be accessed using the Explore Data tab.

What is a route?

A route is a path you survey, beginning at a designated start point and travelling to a designated end point. Often times routes begin and end at logical places, such as the north and south points of a small barrier island, or the north and south boundaries of a State Park. If a shorebird partnership exists in your area, they likely have pre-established routes already set up. More information on how to create and survey routes, visit Step 4 - Collecting Data under the Instructions Tab.

Why should I survey a route?

A route survey is useful in organizing your survey efforts. It also provides valuable data on which areas of Florida are and are not surveyed. When surveying a route, you are capturing both the presence and absence of birds, which is also valuable in assessing population status and other trends.

When do I need to start surveying?

The Breeding Bird Protocol outlines six survey windows – one during each month of the breeding season. It is best to begin surveying during the first survey window and continue until the last survey window. Surveying may begin earlier than the first window, and may also extend later. We ask that, in accordance with the protocol, you survey once during each of the six windows. Additional surveying is recommended and we welcome any data you collect outside of the six survey windows. To see the dates for the designate survey windows, go to the Breeding Bird Protocol Calendar.

I created an incorrect site or route, how do I remove it?

It's important to take great care when creating sites and routes in the FSD because sites and routes are shared resources that cannot be deleted from the database. If you have created an erroneous site or route, follow the FSD - Instructions for Removing Erroneous Sites / Routes to remove the site/route from your profile and alert the FSD database administrator and other users of the site/route about the error.

I am having trouble viewing this site. What should I do?

Try refreshing your browser. This site is best viewed in Chrome or Firefox, if you are using Internet Explorer please check to be sure your browser is NOT in compatibility mode (view instructions). If you are still having trouble, close and restart your browser. If you continue to have difficulties viewing the site, or receive specific error messages, please e-mail

Why can’t I submit my shorebird observations via excel spreadsheet or send them in an e-mail message?

In order for your data to be meaningful to researchers, wildlife managers, and others it must be collected using a standard monitoring protocol. Data entry screens on this website match data sheets which use this standardized protocol. Furthermore, this website automatically checks for errors as you enter your data. This ensures accuracy and greatly reduces the time it would take FWC (FL Fish and Wildlife Commission) staff to enter and check your shorebird data for typos. The website also keeps track of any shorebird monitoring training you have received. This further helps researchers interpret the data you have collected.

You can always immediately download any information you have entered in this website to an excel spreadsheet from options in the Explore Data tab.

How do I view data that I and others have entered?

The Explore Data tab will provide options to download and view all data entered into the Florida Shorebird Database.

Part of my screen is cut off and I can't scroll down:

You may have your computer setting on Large Text Size. This results in parts of the webpage being cut off. Reducing your font/text size to a smaller setting may fix the problem.

Should I enter all the shorebirds I see in the FSD's breeding survey?

No. The breeding survey is designed to identify nesting locations and juvenile staging areas. Therefore, we are looking for actual nest sites and signs/evidence of nesting (including adults exhibiting pre-nesting behavior early in the season, and roving chicks later in the season). We are not looking for general bird ovservations or counts in this section.

How should I report my observation when I see a downy solitary shorebird (e.g., AMOY, SNPL) chick out of its nest scrape?

As soon as solitary shorebird chicks leave the nest, they can be reported on the Roving Chicks/Staging Young form (see "Add roving chicks/staging young" document). If you are able to associate a chick with its nest site, enter the nest name on that form, and don't forget to mark the old nest site as "No Longer Active / No Longer Pre-nesting" and note the Final Outcome as: "One or more chicks left the nest".

Where should I report my observation when I see a flight-capable colonial seabird juvenile (e.g., LETE, BLSK)?

For colonial-nesting seabirds, it is ok to include counts of flight-capable juveniles under the colonial nest site, (Colony form) as long as they are still within view of that site and/or birds are still nesting at that site. If the colony has completed nesting and the juveniles have moved away to a staging are, they can be entered in the Roving Chicks/Staging Young form (see "Add roving chicks/staging young" document). Don't forget to mark the vacant colony nest site as "No Longer Active / No Longer Pre-nesting" and note the Final Outcome as: "One or more chicks left the nest".

Why are some sites or routes missing when I search for them under the "add existing sites/routes" page?

It may be that you have already added those sites or routes to your MyData page, so those will not show up in the "add sites" search.

How often should I be reporting data in the FSD?

At a minimum, the Breeding Bird Protocol asks that you survey a route (and check all nesting sites along that route) once a month during designated count windows. We recommend entering data from those surveys immediately after conducting them. If you check on specific colonies or solitary nest sites independently of conducting an entire route (e.g., weekly site checks), that data is welcome as well!

I can't seem to edit my site visit without getting an error message about it being part of a route. What do I do?

We recommend associating nesting sites with a route survey, to make data entry and tracking sites easier. However, this means when you need to edit a site's details, you must do so by going through the route survey. Click "View/Edit" from your route page. "Edit" the particular survey date you wish to change details for, and then select the site link from this survey.

I found no birds on my survey or rooftop that was active last year. I don't need to enter any data, right?

Wrong! Negative data is very important to identify where birds are actually missing (as opposed to lack of survey coverage), and to identify loss of habitat or other potential problems at work. Please enter your "zeros"; that is, enter a route survey and enter "No" where it asks if nesting birds were seen along your route survey. A rooftop that was active in previous years but is not yet active this season can be marked as "No nesting yet this year". If the building has been re-roofed or torn down, please let us know