As ubiquitous on sandy beaches as the sand itself are some beautiful beach birds. Often looked at as pests, they are as much a part of a beach microcosm as the shells and marine life that we collect. Some are surely challenging, swooping to see what the humans may have dropped that could prove delicious. They are also a graceful part of beach life that would certainly be missed if not present. We should definitely work on our tan with a nose in fluffy, light beach reading or walk with eyes cast down to darker wet sand in order to find that most prized sea shell but if we do not look aloft at our avian friends soaring on currents above, we might miss as much relaxing beauty as can be had in other leisurely pursuits.
Almost no bird conveys that you are near water than the pelican. This bird is completely recognizable as belonging to coastal waters. Often seen flying in unison, low over the water, they appear almost ungainly on the ground but glide smoothly on the currents of air, often right before plunging into the water in search of lunch. They have a long sinuous neck, over sized bill and big, dark body. They are fairly common today, being a success story of a species coming back from the brink of extinction.
Great Blue Heron
Supremely majestic is the Great Blue Heron which can at a distance seem blue-gray and has a large black stripe over the eye and in the air it has a two toned appearance. They are very large and have long, sinewy necks as well as their signature long legs. These can be seen in many places as they forage in saltwater and freshwater alike, from the coasts to farmlands.
This medium sized heron is a long legged beauty often at it's prettiest during breeding season when it develops long, thin, wispy plumes along the neck, breast and back and a short shaggy crest on the back of the head. This bird is known for spectacular mating displays and behavior. They are extremely vocal, especially during aggressive encounters. They are beautiful and graceful as they wander to forage for food.