The start of the beach-going season is upon us, and it’s a good time to remember that other species share the sandy beaches of coastlines and lakeshores with us. Shorebirds, waterbirds such as gulls, and seabirds are active on and around beaches and rocky coastal areas. Some species, like the Piping Plover and Snowy Plover, actually nest right on the beach, so what we do while there can make all the difference for the success of a nest. Their nests are so minimal and cryptic, a simple scrape in the sand lined with a few pebbles, that you might even step on one if you’re not careful! Simple ways to avoid disturbing these species include not driving on beaches, keeping dogs on a leash, and staying away from any visible birds or nests. Just watching birds from a distance while on the beach can be as entertaining as enjoying the water!