Report: Oystercatchers Vs. The City of Long Beach? [UPDATED]

Update (1:28pm): Victory! The city listened and moved the trailer about 50 feet to the west.  There is still some concern over how close the birds are, but the trailer has to be near the bathroom pipe location. Kudos to LB for listening. 


This isn’t the first time we’ve see this beautiful birds nesting on our beach (/?tag=oystercatcher). They have been here before and will be here again. These innocent birds, which are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, are apparently involved in a situation, as a reader explains:

It appears that in preparation for upcoming events, the City has placed restroom trailers along the boardwalk, on the beach side. Honestly, I’m not sure if that is what they are to be used for, but this one in particular is a BIG problem. There is an Oystercatcher nest, with eggs and sitting parent, right in the path from the shoreline to the restrooms. We have roped and coned off the nest, but the amount of traffic going near the nest will drastically disturb the birds. 

The eggs will probably be hatching sometime between the19th – 26th of May —  Memorial Day Weekend. 

Obviously people are very concerned about this birds, as they should be. As a member of the  South Shore Audubon Society, I’m concerned as well. Spread the word to get these birds protected.


“Despite its expanding range, the American Oystercatcher is currently listed as a Species of Special Concern in many coastal states. Due to its small North American population and concentrated winter range, the American Oystercatcher is particularly vulnerable to catastrophe; one hurricane or oil spill could prove devastating. Oystercatchers are shy birds, so human encroachment—particularly on the breeding grounds—is another serious threat.” National Audubon Society. 


(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