Barnegat Light in Ocean County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Birds of the Beach
The Sandy Beach
—Coastal Habitats —
Subtle differences in feeding adaptations minimize direct competition, allowing for every aspect of the habitat to be used and defining each species’ ecological niche or role in the ecosystem.
The birds help maintain the balance of the beach ecosystem by preventing their prey from overpopulating. Many shorebirds also scavenge the beaches for remnants of decaying plants and animals washed ashore. Enjoy watching the shorebirds, and see if you can recognize any of their specific traits.
Erected by State of New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry and National Park System.
Location. 39° 45.85′ N, 74° 6.233′ W. Marker is in Barnegat Light, New Jersey, in Ocean County. Marker can be reached from Broadway, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located in Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, on the boardwalk by the waterfront. Marker is in this post office area: Barnegat Light NJ 08006, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other How Much Water Flows Through Barnegat Inlet (here, next to this marker); A Vanishing Summer Visitor (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); U.S. Merchant Marine WW II Memorial (about 500 feet away); Vigilant Guardian (about 600 feet away); Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade (about 600 feet away); Barnegat Lighthouse (about 600 feet away); Maritime Forest Trail (about 600 feet away); Old Salty Survivors (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Barnegat Light.
More about this marker. The bottom of marker contains images of shorebirds found in New Jersey, photographs courtesy of Joseph Lomax, the Wetlands Institute and NJ Fish, Game & Wildlife. Each image has its own caption, as follows:
The sanderling (Calidris alba) follows the retreating waves back out to sea, quickly pecking bits of food from the water.
The least tern (Sterna antillarum) flies over shallow water and dives into schools of fish, in hopes of a good catch.
The American oystercatcher ( Haematopus palliatus) swiftly servers the muscle that holds oyster shells closed with its bill.
The semipalmated sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) probes into the sand with its stout bill for snails and shrimp.
The black skimmer (Rynchops niger) skims the water surface with the lower half of its beak to catch prey.
Herring gulls (Larus argentatus) scavenge the beaches, looking for crabs, mussels, chicks of other birds, and scraps of food left by beach visitors.
Ruddy turnstones (Arenaria interpres) pry open shellfish with their beaks and feed on horseshoe crab eggs in the spring.”
Also see . . .
1. New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route. National Park Service website. (Submitted on July 1, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry website. (Submitted on July 1, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Animals • Science & Medicine •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 1, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 395 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 1, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.