The birds are back!

Sun, sand, and shorebirds — signs of spring in the Northeast

Spit of sand in ocean with dozens of shorebirds
Shorebirds at Cape May National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey. Photo by USFWS
Banded American oystercatcher on the beach
Piping plover on the beach
Least tern on the beach
Sanderling running on the beach
Red knot on the beach
Semipalmated sandpiper on the beach
Left to right, starting at top: American oystercatcher (USFWS), piping plover (Don Freiday/USFWS), least tern (Amanda Boyd/USFWS), sanderling (Peter Pearsall/USFWS), red knot (Gregory Breese/USFWS), and semipalmated sandpiper (Bill Thompson/USFWS)

As the birds come back, here’s what to expect:

Sign reads Restricted Area blocking off part of beach with string and orange flags
Symbolic fencing and signage on the beach with orange flagging tape. Photo by Bret Serbin/USFWS
Two piping plover in the sand, one appears to have an injured wing
Shorebird parents will sometimes feign a broken wing to distract predators or humans from their nests or chicks, which uses a lot of energy. Photo by Ariel Kallenbach/USFWS

Tips for sharing the shore:

Narrow beach with many shorebirds and seagulls
Shorebirds and gulls crowd a beach in the Northeast. Laurel Wilkerson/USFWS
Selfie style photo of blonde woman standing in a field
Colleen Andrews is the Outreach Coordinator with the New York and Long Island Field Offices.

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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Northeast Region

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Northeast Region

Conserving wildlife and habitats from Maine to Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania.