Every spring, scores of beach nesting birds return to the New Jersey's shoreline. They have just a few months to set up territories, incubate nests, defend chicks and successfully produce the next generation. This is an especially critical task for New Jersey's endangered species, the piping plover, least tern and black skimmer. In addition, regional priority species such as the American oystercatcher, common tern (also a species of special concern) and gull-billed tern use the beachfront as nesting grounds.
The birds nest during the late spring and summer, coinciding with the tourist season at the shore. The conflict between the birds' nesting needs and the public's love affair with the shoreline present a constant challenge to the Endangered and Nongame Species Program. We work to protect the birds by delineating nesting areas with fencing, monitoring predator activity and educating the public. The race for space is on, and we invite you to explore the web pages linked below to see how these birds are faring in an ever-changing landscape.
Beach Nesting Birds Brochure (pdf, 183kb)
Beach Nesting Bird Management and Reports
Piping Plover - July 2003 Species of the Month
Piping Plover Fact Sheet (pdf, 55kb)
Black Skimmer Fact Sheet (pdf, 63kb)
Least Tern Fact Sheet (pdf, 41kb)