Ali Elhajj, via Facebook
"Fireworks Over Lake Eola"
While lighting fireworks in celebration of July 4 is a classic American tradition, it's important to remember that your pets hate your fireworks, your neighbors hate your fireworks, and pretty much every living thing outside of your close circle of friends and family probably, most definitely, hates your fireworks.
And on that note, before you "blow shit up" this weekend, the Audubon Society and the FWC would like to formally remind you that wildlife, specifically birds, really really hate your fireworks.
The Audubon Society and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission sent out a joint statement asking Florida residents to please act responsibly while blasting off mortars near birds this weekend.
The best way to do this? Just keep explosions away from beaches and waterways.
From the joint statement:
Shorebirds, seabirds and wading birds nest on our coastal beaches and islands every year, but this year they are especially vulnerable. Many colonies were devastated by the storm surge of Tropical Storm Colin, drowning chicks and littering the beach with ruined eggs. Despite these losses, many of these birds are trying again. While nesting is normally starting to wind down by Independence Day, it is at a fever pitch this year, heading into one of the busiest and most dangerous weekends of the season.
"Spending time on Florida’s coast is a great way to celebrate the July 4th weekend, but we're not the only ones who think so," said Julie Wraithmell, Audubon Florida's Deputy Executive Director. "This is also a critical time for pelicans and least terns, black skimmers and snowy plovers – many of which are still guarding flightless chicks or eggs. A single ill-placed fireworks explosion or other disturbance can cause birds to fly from a nest, leaving their tiny babies vulnerable to predation and exposure."
The two organization emphasize that Florida's coastal bird populations have plummeted over the years, while Florida's human population has grown from 10 million in 1980 to 20 million in 2016.
“We are lucky to have an abundance of birdlife here in Florida, and we want people to enjoy these beautiful birds for generations to come,” said Brian Yablonski, Chairman of the FWC. “While you are enjoying your holiday celebrations this weekend, please be mindful of nesting shorebirds and other wildlife.”