Save our Seabirds

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Seabirds live in a variety of habitats in and around shallow water and coastal environments. As an important part of the marine environment and food web they are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

In Sarasota County there are a lot of migratory birds that are returning year after year, such as the nesting black skimmer colony that has a puppy-like cackle. The Black Skimmers are listed as a state threatened species and may not be disturbed, keeping a safe distance >150 feet. In fact chasing or running into a brood of birds at the beach to watch them disperse into the sky, is frowned upon because the laws protect birds against harm and harassment. Birds need all their energy to survive.

Some types of seabirds most common in Sarasota County are the Black Skimmers that are year-round residents that have been decreasing in population; Purple Martin from South America live in gourd homes and eat mosquitoes; Purple Gallinule seen primarily at the Celery Fields swamps it migrates to the Caribbean and tropics; Least Bittern is a part of the Heron family is a secretive wetlands bird that migrates from the south; Swallowtail Kite nests in pine trees near wetlands and comes to the Celery Fields for food it travels from South America each February and returns south in September; and Least Tern has a yellow bill and nests directly in the sand coming from South America in April to breed.

Feeding on krill, small fish, squid, or other prey items at the ocean's surface some seabirds such as the brown pelican, terns and gannets dive into the water in pursuit of fish.

How can you help save an injured Seabird? Take it to Save Our Seabirds at 1708 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236. They receive over 5,000 calls about sick and injured birds every year. They rehabilitate sick and injured birds, release as many as they can, and educate the community about avoiding injuries and preserving bird habitats.


Stephanie head

Stephanie Rischard

Stephanie is a Sarasota native and a Ringling College of Art & Design alum. She expresses her love of creativity by way of photography, belly dance, filmmaking, soap making, drawing, painting, and more. "Being a Sarasota native, there is a lot that I love about Sarasota being the theme of this community project. I love sharing positive stories about my experiences in my hometown and I was inspired to share my appreciation for one of my favorite places, Save Our Seabirds. Save Our Seabirds is an avian rescue & rehabilitation center located on City Island. At one point in my life I had the amazing opportunity to be part of the team and work there for over a year. During my time at SOS I gained so much more knowledge and respect for the incredible birds in our area & beyond."

It's difficult to say which bird species is my favorite, but the osprey is one at the top of my list. They are incredibly adept at catching fish & hearing their chirp just warms my heart. I decided to paint an osprey with the words ""Save Our Seabirds"". I was inspired by psychedelic posters from the '60s and used contrasting colors & heavy line for this project. I have never created anything in this style before and I am super appreciative of the Chalk Festival & Sarasota to host this experiment." An Osprey accompanied by the words "Save Our Seabirds"

Written By

Nanette Crist

Nanette Crist is a retired lawyer who began blogging when she moved to Florida. It was an online diary of sorts, a way to keep track of her new life. It was also a good way to share her discoveries with friends and family outside the area. Over time, Nanette realized her writing makes her experience the world differently. She keeps an eye out for interesting things to write about and then delves more deeply into them as she crafts her words. It's all about telling the story. Nanette's blog can be found at