Beach Bird. They come to the beach as we come. In the warmer weather, to relax, to grow the next generation, to make a nest, to thrive amongst their kind. They feed on the bounty the sea brings, they teach their young to do the same. They are hardy birds, often traveling great distances to get to our shores. But there is competition for increasingly less beach. They will not survive without our help, our concern, our care. So take a moment to see them. They are part of our wild selves. They deserve our attention and awe.

Black Skimmers. They are seemingly other-worldly, with a lower jaw longer than upper. They are beach birds par excellence, graceful and calm, skimming across the water feeling their way to a meal. They breed and live in colonies near the shore, close to the ocean pantry and close to each other. The North American Breeding Bird Survey estimates that they are in  declined... 4% per year between 1966 and 2015, indicating a cumulative loss of 87% of their population over that period. 

American Oystercatcher. They are noisy, raucous, and unmistakably comedic. They nest on scapes in the sand, and are vulnerable to all that would disturb. Take a moment to consider that red beak, long legs, and flashing eyes. In the United States total population is declining. What an absolute tragedy if we fail to protect them. 

Terns dance. With each other. They have a distinctive  and rather formal courtship dance, complete with a fish dinner. They feed their young with an elegant offering at the end of a gracefully extended neck and beak.  Most Tern species nest on open beach. This precious real estate puts these small birds in competition with human development, a fight they will never survive without our help. So let's give them some space and watch them dance. The world is a more wondrous place for it. 

Piping Plovers. There are an estimated 8000 piping plovers in the world. That's it. They are tough birds, but how can a tiny bird defend itself against crows, gulls, raccoons, trucks on the beach and dogs?  Their habitat is disappearing with climate change and human development. So let's give a break to a tiny bird. Our lives are richer for it.

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