(UPDATED) Oystercatcher Birds [Letter To The Editor]

UPDATED 5:30pm

Mary Ellen of the West End Beautification Association was kind enough to share some of her photos of the Oystercatcher and their new stringed fence barricade. The egg is safe!

Mary Ellen pointed out the beach vehicle tracks going around the new barricade.


A reader named William writes:

Hello Anthony, I’ve been following a pair of Oystercatcher birds hanging around the shore near the mid-point of the boardwalk for the last couple of weeks. About 3 days ago, the female laid a single egg and is now sitting on it in a small depression in the sand (just east of Magnolia Blvd. and right smack in the middle of the beach). I’ve tried to get the attention of the City to see if they could cordon off a small area like they would for piping plovers but since these birds are not protected (despite their low population #s), they seem OK with “nature taking care of it” (as one of our City cops told me at the precinct yesterday when I inquired). The problem, however, is the City is messing with nature by driving their 4×4 police SUVs up and down the beach every couple of hours along with the beach rake tractor that I witnessed just missing the “nest” today (like I said, it’s just a small depression in the sand with this Oystercatcher sitting on it, fully exposed). Thankfully, these birds seem determined, stubborn or just stupid since they refused to move when the tractor came along today– making the rake veer to left just before it ran them all over (as you can still see by the tire tracks which go around them all). After today’s close call, I decided to move a large piece of driftwood close to their nest so that our cops and the beach rake tractor might have to avoid the wooden obstacle and their nest… but with a little publicity here, maybe we can help nature decide if this egg will hatch before the City of Long Beach scrambles it for good. Regards, William

Hi William, Although they aren’t on the endangered species list, Oystercatchers, I believe, are still protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. A couple of years ago workers from the Town of Hempstead Conservation and Waterways came (yes, to Long Beach) and put up temporary fences to protect them when they were nesting (see –Oystercatchers (& chicks!!!) on the beach by Riverside Blvd).

I would contact the town and tell them everything you know. They are usually pretty fast in responding, especially with Oystercatchers. Although we aren’t in the town of Hempstead, they have jurisdiction when it comes to nature since our city is not equipped for it (and quite frankly, has no clue). The Town of Hempstead will do a good job protecting them.

Good luck!

Town of Hempstead
Department of Conservation & Waterways
Lido Boulevard
Point Lookout, NY 11569
(516) 431-9200 


Relates Posts: July, 2010: Oystercatchers (& chicks!!!) on the beach by Riverside Blvd

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19 thoughts on “(UPDATED) Oystercatcher Birds [Letter To The Editor]”

  1. There need to be more people like you William! Cheers to you for caring and bringing this to the attention of the public. Please let us know if you do not get assistance right away, and we can all start calling until they act on this.
    Part of the beauty of living here is the seabirds, and it is imperative that we help keep them around for many years to come.
    Thank you!

  2. I just called, they will be down there in an hour or so to check out some piping plovers so they are going to look into this as well…good find William!!!

  3. Spoke to Rob from TOH Conservation & Waterways just before. He said they strung a fence up around the nest not too long ago. Thanks everyone for following up so quickly to my letter!

  4. From what I’ve read over the past day, and from what Rob from TOH Conservation & Waterways over in Lido told me just before, is that these Oystercatchers are probably the same ones from last year as they usually revisit the same nesting area year after year if they are succesful in breeding.

  5. This makes my heart smile. It goes to show if we take a little initiative we can really make a difference. I say we call the chick Billy 🙂 Job well done!

  6. I like the name Billy, let’s go with that. Whoever sees the chick 1st gets to name it, right? Well guess what I saw on the beach today??? Ladies and gentleman meet Billy, the new Oystercatcher of Long Beach!

    From the boardwalk I thought it was a bit peculiar that I didn’t see an Oystercatcher sitting on the nest inside the roped-off area– one was sitting yards away on the sand, the other was down at the shore. Thinking the worst, as I went in to take a closer look out pops from underneath the parent’s wing goes running a baby Oystercatcher! The parents both chirped at me and they all went running back inside the safe confines of the nesting area and where the egg USED to be.

    The rainy weather should give them all a little privacy to get to know each other this week and seeing how they ran back to the roped-off zone, I think they know we’ll leave them alone in there come the busy holiday weekend. Can someone snap a photo to post? I feel like a proud papa, yes!

  7. Just saw the chick today, may 23 rd. both oyster catchers are staying close and I noticed today that they were chasing gulls quite frequently. That’s what inspired me to take my binoculars on my walk today. The chick seems to nestle close to the log but he did walk around a bit too. Would need a good zoom to get a picture.

  8. Saw one adult hanging around where the nest used to be; he did a few fly byes up and down the beach but from what I could see (through the fog) there was no sign of the other adult and chick. I guess it’s for the best now they walk further down the beach anyway as the fence/nest where it was would be lined with people wanting to see what’s in there come tomorrow and the rest of the weekend. Little Billy has flown the coup!

  9. Well, look how fast a year (exactly 1 year) goes by and some things haven’t changed…our visiting neighbors, the oystercatcher birds, are back in the City and on the beach. As we learned last year, all they need is small barricade so the truck traffic will not squash their eggs while we rebuild the boardwalk. Please keep an eye out, new and existing beach walkers (I used to have it to myself this time year), for the birds sitting on the beach and refusing to move…that little scratch in the sand they’re trying to protect is their nest! DEP in Lido Beach will come out and post a temporary fence ASAP. Let’s help accomodate them (and everybody else) so that they want to come back again!

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