Black Skimmers

BARNEGAT BAY– Black SkimmersHere’s a program from our archives.ambience: Black SkimmersHumans aren’t the only ones who flock to the beach in summer, although we do tend to take up a lot of space. This summer, an endangered bird called the Black Skimmer will find one of its last remaining safe havens on the salt marshes off the coast of New Jersey. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Burger: Primarily what you’re hearing now, the long drawn out call of Skimmers. They’ve just laid most of their eggs and are just going to be able to hatch in a week or so. And what they’re basically doing is revolving around us in a big swirl of flying birds calling.”Joanna Burger is a Biology Professor at Rutgers University.Burger: In New Jersey Skimmers are endangered. And there are several reasons that they’re endangered. The traditional nesting sites of Black Skimmers are on the barrier beaches, but as you can see as you drive up the Jersey shore or even if you drive on Long Island, there are very few sand beaches that are available for the birds to nest on anymore. Because we have either used them for beaches or we used them for marinas or people have houses there. Over evolutionary time these birds used to move from island to island and from barrier beach to barrier beach as the conditions changed. As the bad storms and tides moved the sand from one place to another. But now, if they can’t nest on the habitat where they nested the year before, there’s no place else to move because we’ve destroyed all the beaches. And so, the problem is that these birds arrive on the sandy shores to breed at the same time that all the people reach the beaches. And so you’ve got two different kinds of creatures competing for the same resource. Please visit our web site at www.pulseplanet.com. We’ve been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Black Skimmers

This summer, an endangered seabird will find one of its last remaining safe havens on the salt marshes off the coast of New Jersey.
Air Date:07/22/2021
Scientist:
Transcript:

BARNEGAT BAY-- Black SkimmersHere's a program from our archives.ambience: Black SkimmersHumans aren't the only ones who flock to the beach in summer, although we do tend to take up a lot of space. This summer, an endangered bird called the Black Skimmer will find one of its last remaining safe havens on the salt marshes off the coast of New Jersey. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Burger: Primarily what you're hearing now, the long drawn out call of Skimmers. They've just laid most of their eggs and are just going to be able to hatch in a week or so. And what they're basically doing is revolving around us in a big swirl of flying birds calling."Joanna Burger is a Biology Professor at Rutgers University.Burger: In New Jersey Skimmers are endangered. And there are several reasons that they're endangered. The traditional nesting sites of Black Skimmers are on the barrier beaches, but as you can see as you drive up the Jersey shore or even if you drive on Long Island, there are very few sand beaches that are available for the birds to nest on anymore. Because we have either used them for beaches or we used them for marinas or people have houses there. Over evolutionary time these birds used to move from island to island and from barrier beach to barrier beach as the conditions changed. As the bad storms and tides moved the sand from one place to another. But now, if they can't nest on the habitat where they nested the year before, there's no place else to move because we've destroyed all the beaches. And so, the problem is that these birds arrive on the sandy shores to breed at the same time that all the people reach the beaches. And so you've got two different kinds of creatures competing for the same resource. Please visit our web site at www.pulseplanet.com. We've been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.