The Town of Hempstead has been monitoring American Oystercatchers since they began nesting in New York in the early 1990s. Major threats to oystercatcher populations include loss of habitat and climate change. While Town beaches offer a space for recreation, Town staff are able to protect oystercatchers by providing protected areas for nesting shorebirds.
On the Town of Hempstead's barrier island there are a growing number of oystercatcher pairs. This year the entire Long Beach barrier island supported 61 nesting pairs, who fledged a total of 42 chicks! In addition, a total of 45 young and adult birds were banded this season, for the purpose of movement and genealogy studies. The Town of Hempstead biologists also worked with the City of Long Beach to band oystercatcher chicks that hatched on City beaches this year. The unique band codes given to these birds are now part of a global database. Re-sightings of these banded birds will help identify important breeding sites, wintering sites, site fidelity, and provide other information on oystercatcher movements. The Town works with partners who have contributed to a successful breeding season, including Audubon NY and South Shore Audubon, and the Town thanks those partners for their support and collaboration towards improving oystercatcher productivity.
Photo Credit: Cornell Lab of Ornithology