Every year, millions of birds take to the skies, flying to new places to safely feed or raise their young. Up and down the East Coast, shorebirds flock to the beaches. Some, like the piping plover, will nest there, raising their small, speckled chicks in the camouflage of the sand. Others, like the red knot, come in droves to use the beaches as a place to rest and refuel on their long journey.
Yet these critical places (which should be a sanctuary for nesting or migrating birds) aren’t always protected. Beach-goers can impact the birds’ sites and behavior, accidentally destroying habitat or scaring the birds away from their nests or food. Even those who don’t go to the beach can impact the habitat there pollution from thousands of miles away can end up in these habitats as streams and rivers makes their way to the sea.
Thankfully, there are some simple things that you can do to help keep shorebirds safe.