S is for Shorebirds

Shorebirds are celebrated all over the world each year in September. World Shorebird Day was actually September 6th this year (2016) but we will celebrate today, too.

Have you ever taken the time to just sit on the shore and watch the birds?  Put the phone away, stop talking to the person you’re with, put down that book…just watch the birds.  They are amazing. The run so fast, they peck at the micro organisms on the sand that they eat, they fly and dive after fish. And the gulls…they’ll pester you to death, nagging you for a piece of your popcorn, chips, sandwich, candy, anything… I once pretended to eat something. I held out my left hand and used my right to pretend to take something and put it to my mouth. I did this a few times and had a flock of seagulls suddenly standing at my feet.

Shorebirds are really essential to our ecosystem. When birds start falling from the sky, something is wrong for all of us. When shorebirds die from something in the water, we need to be attentive.  If these birds cannot nest and bring forth young ones to carry on, our ecosystem can get out of balance.  What shorebirds eat keeps the balance of organisms in the water and in the sand.  For example, if there are no Red knots to feed on horseshoe crab eggs, there will be too many horseshoe crabs. Shorebirds dine on fish, crabs, sea worms, plankton, shell fish and more. This food chain keeps the balance.

Check out a map of the migratory flyways and pay attention to the months the birds are migrating. The Gulf Coast gets a great variety of birds coming and going. For some shorebirds the Gulf Coast is the southern end of their migration; for others it’s the northern end.  Try to get involved in a local volunteer activity relating to shorebirds when  you visit the beaches or if you live there year-round. Audubon has a presence in most coastal areas or contact the local Extension office.101_1414_00

Visit my webpage, Save-the-Chicks.com, for information about shorebird nesting and make a pledge to Save the Chicks.

Another great site: Migratory Shorebird Project

S is for Shorebird.

 

 

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