On a long drive, we all need our rest – to eat, to sleep, to recharge our batteries. Migrating birds are the same way, flying thousands of miles from north to south, they can’t make it without their rest. They flock by the thousands to our shores, the perfect rest area on the migration highway.
”Areas like this habitat where you have these sandy shoals adjacent to an inlet, you have these little tidal creeks full of small animals for them to eat. So this is their rest area on I-95. It’s where they can recharge their batteries, they have to bulk up to increase their fat reserves, and sleep, and rest,” explained Andy Wood of the Audobon Society.
But these habitats are fragile, and if they were to vanish, so too would some of the birds.
As humans continue to develop on the shorelines and try and prevent erosion, hardening the shorelines here would really harm the habitats for these birds.
“As habitats change, with human activity, building houses, or manipulating inlets with hardened structures, when you loose these sand flats you’re taking away their dinner table. This is their banquet place, and also you’re taking away their resting place. So imagine you’re driving from Maine to Florida but you get no rest stops. You get no place to fill up your tank, you’re not going to get very far,” Wood said.
When these birds are here to rest, it’s important to keep your distance and give them their much needed down time.
“What can we do to help the birds? Leave them alone. Bring your binoculars to the beach – look at them from a distance, don’t chase them, let them rest,” Wood explained.
Think of it as somebody waking you from a needed slumber after a few hundred-mile run, you’d be cranky too.
Dozens of species of birds will be flying through our skies and landing in our inlets over the next several weeks as October is the peak time for birds to stop over and pay a visit to Wilmington.