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Beach-Nesting Birds


2020 Management Reports

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

Piping Plover Nesting Management 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)

Horseshoe Island


arrow Flight Behavior of Breeding Piping Plovers: Implications for Risk of Collision with Wind Turbines (Masters Thesis of Michelle L. Stantial, pdf, 3.1mb)
arrow New Jersey's Endangered and Threatened Species
arrow Watchable Wildlife and Diversity Tours
arrow Partners in Flight
back to Endangered and Nongame Species Program page
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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: December 7, 2020