Haylie Barnes, Land O' Pines School
Monmouth County Runner Up
Just imagine being endangered. You would want help, wouldn't you? Hi, I'm Joey the Black Skimmer, and I am endangered like other millions of species that need help to survive.
Let me tell you a bit about me. My habitat that I love is by coastal waters protected from the open surf. Like lagoons, sheltered bays, places like that. That's where we nest. You humans have "activities" that have produced direct losses of habitats at natural barrier islands. This has lead to the loss of suitable sites for nesting for beach nesting birds like us and many others. We usually feed on small fish that live near the surface of the water. As we fly, our lower bill skims the water, finds a fish, and we snap our bills together to catch it.
We are very social birds, flocking outside breeding season, and then nesting in colonies on beaches and islands. We're usually with aggressive terns and gulls that offer us protection from predators. Our nest is usually a shallow scrape on an open beach, shell banks, sand bars, and we occasionally nest on gravel roofs. We also have a 3-5 buff, white, or blue green eggs, heavily marked with brown. They are perfectly camouflaged on the beach which we are nesting on.
You think you're important, right? You would feel upset if you saw your friends and family were disappearing every year, every month, every week, every day? Well, that’s exactly how I feel and need your help to keep me and my friends and family alive. So, if you see one of us, just think, the Black Skimmers with a white tummy, black back, and an orange and black beak are hoping that you can make a difference to help us. We're sitting on the beach and hoping not to disappear.
Land O' Pines School, Howell
Teacher: Mrs. Madison