A Birdwatcher’s Guide to the Best Beach Birds

Beach birds are a beautiful and diverse group of creatures.

They can be found in coastal areas all over the world, and there is something special about seeing them up close. Whether you’re an experienced birdwatcher or just starting out, getting to know these birds is a fun and rewarding experience. In this article, we will explore some of the best beach birds to look for, where to find them, and what you can expect to see.

15 Unique and Wonderful Beach Birds

1. Pelicans bird

Pelicans bird

Pelicans are large, fish-eating waterbirds that occur on all continents except Antarctica. There are eight different species of pelicans, and they range in size from 3.3 to 9.2 feet in length. Pelicans have long bills with a distinctive downward-curving hook at the end, which they use to scoop up fish from the water’s surface.

They also have large throats, which they can inflate to hold their prey. Pelicans typically live near coasts and lakes, where they feed on small fish, crustaceans, and other aquatic animals. Beach birds, such as pelicans, are important to the ecosystem because they help to keep the beaches clean by eating food that would otherwise rot and attract insects.

In addition, their droppings provide nutrients for plants that help to stabilize the sand dunes. As a result, pelicans play an important role in maintaining the health of coastal ecosystems.

2. Long-billed curlew

The long-billed curlew is a large wading bird that can be found along beaches in the western hemisphere. The bird gets its name from its long, down-curved bill, which is used to probe the sand for tiny invertebrates.

The long-billed curlew is a migratory species, spending the winters in coastal areas of Mexico and Central America. In summer, the birds move north to breed in Alaska and Canada. Beach birds like the long-billed curlew are important for maintaining healthy ecosystems. By eating small animals and stirring up the sand, they help to aerate the beach and keep the food web functioning properly. In addition, their droppings provide essential nutrients for plants and other animals.

As a result, beach birds play an important role in keeping coastlines healthy and vibrant.

3. Killdeer

Beach birds are an integral part of the local ecosystem. They help to keep the sand clean and aerated, and their presence attracts other wildlife to the area. Among the most common beach birds is the killdeer.

These small birds are easily recognized by their distinctive cry, which sounds like “kill-deer.” Killdeer are actually quite adept at hunting, and they often prey on small insects and crustaceans. However, they will also eat plants if necessary.

In addition to their hunting skills, killdeer are also excellent flyers. They are known for their impressive aerial acrobatics, which they often perform in order to distract predators from their nests. As a result of their many talents, killdeer play an important role in maintaining the balance of the beach ecosystem.

4. Willett Bird

 Willett Bird

Willett Bird is a Beach Bird. Beach Birds are a type of bird that live on the beach. Beach Birds are different from other birds because they have webbed feet. Beach Birds eat insects, crabs, and small fish. Willett Bird is a Beach Bird.

Beach Birds are a type of bird that live on the beach. Beach Birds are different from other birds because they have webbed feet. Beach Birds eat insects, crabs, and small fish. Willett Bird is a Beach Bird. Beach Birds are a type of bird that live on the beach. Beach Birds are different from other birds because they have webbed feet. Beach Birds eat insects, crabs, and small fish.

5. Black-necked stilt

The black-necked stilt is a Beach Bird that can be found in the Americas. It is a long-legged wader with a very thin body. The black-necked stilt has a black back and neck, with a white chest and belly. It has a long, thin, curved bill. The black-necked stilt’s legs are very long and thin, and it has four toes on each foot, two pointing forwards and two pointing backwards.

The black-necked stilt’s wings are black with white spots. The female black-necked stilt is usually slightly smaller than the male. Black-necked stilts live near fresh or salt water, in areas with mudflats or sandflats. They eat insects, crustaceans, molluscs, and small fish. Black-necked stilts build their nests on the ground, near water. They lay three to five eggs in each nest. The black-necked stilt is not currently considered to be at risk of extinction.

However, habitat loss and degradation are a threat to its populations. Beach Birds such as the black-necked stilt are important for the health of coastal ecosystems.

They help to control insect and other invertebrate populations, and their long bills allow them to reach into the mud to eat their prey. Beach Birds also play an important role in seed dispersal as they move about in search of food. Their activities help to keep beaches healthy and productive habitats for other animals.

6. Semipalmated plover

Beach birds have one of the toughest lives imaginable. They must contend with harsh sunlight, high temperatures, and predators looking for an easy meal. Despite these challenges, Beach birds thrive in coastal habitats all over the world. One such Beach bird is the Semipalmated plover.

The Semipalmated plover is a small bird that can be found running along sandy beaches in search of food. The bird’s diet consists mostly of insects and other small invertebrates. Semipalmated plovers are unique in that they have webbing between their toes which helps them to run on soft sand without sinking.

This adaptation allows the Semipalmated plover to outrun its predators and escape to safety. The next time you’re at the beach, keep an eye out for these amazing Beach birds.

7. Western snowy plover

Western snowy plover

Beach birds are a common sight in coastal areas around the world. These birds typically have brightly colored plumage and special adaptations that allow them to survive in the harsh conditions of the beach. One Beach bird is the Western snowy plover.

The Western snowy plover is a small bird that is dark brown on top and white on the bottom. It has a long, thin bill and webbed feet that help it to run across the sand. The Western snowy plover nests on the ground, often near the waterline, and uses its camouflaged plumage to hide from predators. These birds are becoming increasingly rare due to habitat loss and human disturbance.

As a result, they are protected by law in many countries. Beachgoers can help to protect these birds by avoiding nesting areas and respecting bird sanctuaries. By doing so, we can help to ensure that Beach birds will be able to enjoy our beaches for years to come.

8. Snowy egret

The Snowy Egret is a beautiful bird that can be found near beaches and marshes. They have bright white feathers and a long, thin black beak. Their legs are also long and thin, and they have yellow feet with webbed toes. These birds are very shy and will often flee if they see people nearby.

However, they will sometimes allow people to approach if they are not too close. Snowy Egrets eat small fish, shrimp, and crabs. They will often stand near the water’s edge and wait for prey to swim by. Then they will quickly snatch the animal with their beak and swallow it whole. These birds are very graceful and a joy to watch.

9. Greater yellowlegs

Greater yellowlegs

The greater yellowlegs is a large shorebird with long, bright yellow legs. It is often seen wading in shallow water, probing the mud with its long, curved bill. The greater yellowlegs is most common in coastal areas, but it can also be found inland near ponds and wetlands. Beach birds such as the greater yellowlegs are an important part of the ecosystem.

They help to keep the sand clean and free of debris, and their long bills are perfectly adapted for finding buried prey. In addition, their droppings provide nutrients that help to support a healthy population of plants and animals. As a result, the next time you see a greater yellowlegs on the beach, take a moment to appreciate this amazing bird.

10. American avocet

The American avocet is a beautiful bird that can be found near beaches and wetlands all along the coast of North America. These birds are best known for their striking black-and-white plumage, long necks, and long, downward-curving bills. American avocets use their bills to forage for food in shallow water, sweeping them back and forth to stir up small prey.

In addition to their striking appearance, American avocets are also known for their graceful flying style. They often flock together in large groups, soaring gracefully over the water in search of food. Thanks to their beautiful plumage and impressive flying skills, American avocets are a popular sight at coastal bird sanctuaries and wildlife refuges.

11. Black-bellied plover

Beach birds are a diverse and fascinating group of animals, and the black-bellied plover is no exception. These small, stocky birds can be found running along beaches around the world, using their long legs and sharp bills to feed on small insects and crustaceans.

They are also excellent swimmers, and can often be seen swimming in the surf or wading in shallow waters. In addition to their unique hunting abilities, black-bellied plovers are also notable for their striking plumage. The upperparts of their bodies are black or dark brown, while the underparts are white.

This distinctive coloration makes them easily recognizable, and helps them to blend in with their sandy surroundings. Black-bellied plovers are interesting and beautiful creatures, and they play an important role in the ecosystem of beach ecosystems.

12. Black oystercatcher

Black oystercatcher

Beach birds are a common sight along the coastlines of North America. One type of beach bird is the black oystercatcher. These birds are named for their dark feathers and their love of oysters! Black oystercatchers are about the size of a crow and have long, orange-red beaks. They can often be seen wading in the water, looking for food.

These birds are important members of the ecosystem because they help to keep oyster populations healthy by eating the weak and sick individuals. Black oystercatchers are monogamous, meaning that they mate for life. Both parents help to care for the young birds.

Unfortunately, these birds are threatened by habitat loss and human activity. Beachgoers can help to protect black oystercatchers by respecting their nesting areas and not disturbing them while they are feeding. By taking simple steps to protect these birds, we can help ensure that they will continue to thrive in our coastal ecosystems.

13. Upland sandpiper

Upland sandpipers are a type of shorebird that breed in North America. They are very small birds, with a wingspan of only around 30 cm. Their plumage is mostly brown, with some white markings on the belly and neck. Upland sandpipers are known for their distinctive call, which sounds like a trill or a whistle.

Breeding season for these birds takes place from May to August. During this time, they can be found in open grasslands or fields, usually near water. After breeding season is over, they migrate south to their wintering grounds, which are typically in South America. Upland sandpipers play an important role in their ecosystems by eating insects and other invertebrates. They are also a popular target for birdwatchers, as they are relatively easy to spot and identify.


Beach birds are an integral part of both marine and coastal ecosystems, providing a range of important ecological services including pollination, nutrient cycling, and helping to control pest populations. They are also a major source of aesthetic pleasure for beachgoers around the world.

Unfortunately, these birds face numerous threats, from human activities such as shoreline development and fishing, to the intensification of weather events due to climate change. Fortunately, there are numerous conservation efforts underway to protect and preserve beach birds and their habitats through education, research, habitat restoration, and protection measures.

Dale Garrett

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing his 15 years of my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at dale@chipperbirds.com for assistance.