It’s officially beach season! There is more to see than seagulls at the shore, such as these five birds that inhabit the Atlantic Coast. Which birds have you seen at the shore this year? Let us know in the comments!
Already a threatened species, Piping Plovers have continued to decline in the past several decades, due to the elimination and disruption of foraging and breeding habitat. Piping Plovers nest in the upper areas of the beach near dunes, so it is best to leave them undisturbed and admire them from afar.
Similar to Piping Plover, American Oystercatchers are also susceptible to habitat disturbances. Populations are presently stabile, having suffered from decline during the 19th century and improved during the 20th century.
The Dunlin is a common shorebird that is usually found in large flocks. By probing their beaks into the sand and mud, they feed primarily on invertebrates.
Black Skimmer’s lower mandible is markedly longer than the upper portion. This adaptation allows them to feed by gliding with their lower bill skimming through water. When they detect a fish, they quickly snatch it in their bill – a method that is also effective at night.
Caspian Terns are the largest terns in the world and are found on every continent except Antarctica. When feeding, they hover in the air briefly to visually target their prey and then plummet into the water with their bright orange bills going first!
This post was originally published on the Academy blog on June 8, 2016. Post by Mike Servedio.