Shorebird eggs wash up on Sullivan's Island following severe weather

(Source: Live 5)
(Source: Live 5)

SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Dozens of bird eggs were found on Sullivan's Island Thursday morning after this week's severe weather, conservation experts say.

According to Audubon SC, heavy rainfall and high tide carried eggs from Crab Bank, a protected seabird sanctuary near Dewees Island, over to Sullivan's Island.

The eggs are no longer viable, which doesn't help birds like the Brown Pelican, Black Skimmer and Royal Tern. Audubon is urging people to leave the eggs alone and not try to collect them.

"Every time you have a bad event like this, biologists get very sad," Audubon SC's Nolan Schillerstrom said. "Because these events really do have a large impact on nesting populations, which are already very low."

Audubon SC says shorebird populations have gone down an average of 70 percent over the last 40 years.

Severe weather carrying off valuable shorebird eggs is just one of the things South Carolina's seabirds and shorebirds have to deal with during the summer. Another issue is called coastal squeeze.

"If you have all these people building condos and more apartment complexes squeezing from the inland, and rising sea levels and more nuisance flooding squeezing from the ocean, these birds that nest on the beach are losing habitat faster and faster every year," Schillerstrom said.

According to Audubon SC, you can help the birds have a successful nesting season by doing these things when you visit the beach:

  • Keep away from birds
  • Respect posted nesting and feeding areas.
  • Don’t force birds to fly.
  • Keep pets on a leash.
  • Keep the beach trash-free.
  • Be mindful of where you land your boat.
  • Teach others to protect birds on our beaches.

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