Share the Beach: People aren’t the only ones flocking to the beach this time of year. Least Terns (shown) are one of the species that nest on beaches; their sand-colored eggs and chicks can be hard to see. Be sure to obey posted signs and give coastal birds their space!
As a part of our “wildlife watching” stops, #mypubliclandsroadtrip explores the rocky intertidal habitat of the California Coastal National Monument, home to many dynamic and sensitive seabirds.
The carrot beaked bird shown here, the Black Oystercatcher, is dependent upon the untrammeled off-shore rocks and tide pools for breeding and foraging sites. Tidepooling – for interesting sea stars, crabs, limpets, and green anemones – is a favorite past time for Californians and a destination for visitors from around the world. We share this bird’s habitat for our health, play, work, discovery, and enjoyment. Please do not disturb or take tidepool organisms as they are an important part of the home of seals, sea lions, birds, and many wildlife species that use these rocks. Along its 1,100 mile length, the California Coastal National Monument is a spectacular interplay of land and sea that reinforces the lasting connections between ourselves and nature. Explore #yourlands.
The Big-eye amphipod (Hyperia galba) lives among jellyfish, just under the bell. You find them the most in rhizostome jellyfish that have washed ashore, although they live in other species as well. Hyperia galba live off of the mass of jellyfish eggs as well as the food consumed by the jellyfish itself. Sometimes, you see coastal birds picking at beached jellyfish, in search of this amphipod
A curlew is a coastal bird with brown feathers and a long slender beak that curves downward. They can be found in Europe, North and South America, Australia, and Asia, to name a few. Curlews feed on mostly worms and insects (hence the beak shape) and occasionally enjoy crabs.