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Belmar Beachcomber Blog


Protecting Endangered Beach Nesting Birds In Belmar

One of Belmar's most treasured environmental gems is a nesting refuge for endangered coastal birds such as the black skimmer. The refuge is nestled in a remote protected area of the Shark River Inlet between the Belmar Fishing Club and the neighboring town of Avon by the Sea.

According to the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, "Piping plovers, least terns, and black skimmers, referred to collectively as beach nesting birds, are among New Jersey’s rarest and most threatened wildlife species." The American oystercatcher has been named a "species of special concern," and the piping plover has been designated as threatened by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service since 1986 (source).

Populations of New Jersey's beach nesting birds are sadly declining due to several factors. Predatory birds and animals are taking a toll on bird eggs and hatchlings in particular. Changes to the birds' natural habitats caused by overdevelopment, rising sea levels and coastal flooding are also negatively impacting nesting sites along the Jersey Shore coastline.

In its 2018 Beach Nesting Bird Project Report, the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey shared that "the distribution of beach nesting birds across the state continues to shift from historic norms....The issues that plague these species (human disturbance, flooding, predators, man-initiated stabilization of habitat) are only likely to increase in coming years such that managers must work harder to ensure that these species will not only persist but recover."

Should you come across the protected nesting bird habitat while walking on the Belmar beach, please respect the posted signs and do not disturb the birds' breeding ground. Belmar allows licensed, leashed dogs on the beach from October 1 through April 30. If you're walking your dog near the birds' habitat during this time, please keep your pet out of the roped-off area.

In addition, while we ALWAYS strongly discourage daily beach visitors from leaving their trash on the beach (seriously, who does that?!), cleaning up after yourself is especially important near the birds' breeding area to avoid attracting predators such as gulls, raccoons, foxes and even cats that might harm the vulnerable eggs and chicks.

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation's beach nesting bird project team, its volunteer breeding bird surveyors, and partner agencies will continue their dedicated efforts to protect these species and their natural habitats. As the conservationists say: "Share the shore" and enjoy the natural beauty of these endangered birds from afar.

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Live Like A Local: Rent A Belmar Beach House

Day trips down the shore are fun, but it's even better to rent a beach house for the week to experience everything wonderful about the Belmar area. For couples, solo adults and small families, the two-bedroom Blue Hydrangea Cottage rental in Belmar, New Jersey, is the perfect getaway place. The home sleeps up to four people and is consistently rated five stars for cleanliness, amenities and location. Learn more at

Belmar Beach House Rentals

Story and photos © copyright by Christine Cardellino, owner of and publisher of the award-winning Belmar Beachcomber Blog, a travel and tourism guide for the Belmar region of the Jersey Shore. Do not copy any content (including images) without our permission. All rights reserved.


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The award-winning Belmar Beachcomber Blog is written and produced by Christine Cardellino
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