Shorebirds Enjoying a Fruitful Nesting Season on University Beach

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – As the annual shorebird nesting season heads into its final weeks, volunteers with the Conrad Blucher Institute, the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program, and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi say the season has been an especially successful one to date at University Beach, across from the Island University.

This season, 13 nests across the entire span of the beach have been identified and fenced off to prevent visitors from disturbing the nests, graduate student Ian Whitt said. Whitt has been observing and recording notes about the nests three times a week during the season, which began in April and runs through August. Bird species include Least Terns, Wilson’s Plover, Willet, and Killdeer nests.

David Newstead, director of the Coastal Bird Program at the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program, said the fencing and signs in English and Spanish are in place to keep visitors from disturbing the birds, who will feign injury to distract humans and keep them away from the nests.

“We have some symbolic fencing and we ask people to respect that,” Newstead said. “It’s there for a reason because there are birds nesting behind it.” 

For more information

The Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program (CBBEP) website notes that there are several other ways visitors can avoid disturbing the shorebirds:

  • Keep dogs on a leash and away from areas where birds may be nesting (city leash law)
  • Properly dispose of trash to keep scavengers away
  • Never abandon fishing line or other gear, and remove it if you find it
  • Do not fly traditional kites or kites for kitesurfing near areas where birds may be nesting
  • When birds are aggravated, you are too close
  • Leave the area if shorebirds fly at you