REMINDER: Avoid nesting areas on the beach when shooting fireworks

The Audubon Society wants to remind everyone to be careful with their fireworks on the beach, especially in those areas marked off for nesting birds.

Least Terns make their nests on stretches of our coastal beach front, as clearly seen by fenced off areas along Highway 90 in places such Gulfport, Biloxi and Pass Christian.

Volunteers will be out in force this July 4th holiday to make sure these federally protected birds are not disturbed during the festivities. The Mississippi Gulf Coast Audubon Society is asking the public to avoid the areas as well as the shoreline. And, if you happen to be lighting fireworks, please stay as far away as possible.

Here are some tips from the Audubon Society:

1. Keep out of labeled shorebird nesting areas. The signs are there for a reason.

2. Watch your feet if you suspect there’s an unmarked nest around. Some nests can be invisible and it’s easy for beach-goers to accidentally step on them.

3. Don’t fly kites or drones near protected areas. To birds, kites can look like falcons.

4. Keep your pets on leashes. Don’t let your pet near the nesting sites.

5. Pick up all your trash. Make sure you don’t leave behind any trash. This can be harmful to sea life and creatures on the beaches.

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