Coastal Bird Program
Expansive marshes, sandy beaches, near-shore islands—areas where land meets sea provide habitat critical for coastal birds throughout the year. Within the dynamic coastal system, terns, gulls, pelicans, skimmers, and shorebirds find the resources needed for breeding and migration. Breeding colonies and foraging areas, where birds can number in the thousands, are an incredible sight to see.
But along our coasts, these species are at risk due to natural and human-induced changes to the environment, including habitat loss, pollution, and human disturbance, as well as the wider-ranging impacts of global climate change. Recently, the vulnerability of coastal birds was on display during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Also showcased during the aftermath of the spill was BRI's ability to lead research on the health, behavior, and movements of coastal birds.
“There is a delicate balance of life played out in coastal habitats. It is a joy to be a part of it.”
— Lisa Eggert, Program Director
Field Coordinator: Jennifer Goyette
Using new techniques and technologies to expand what is possible with our research, BRI biologists will continue to study the conservation challenges faced by coastal birds. Through this program, we hope to better understand and predict how coastal birds respond to changes in their environment and to ultimately contribute to healthier coastal ecosystems.
- Develop the coastal program and build collaborations with other researchers, including government agencies, non-government organizations
- Describe demographics and ecology of coastal birds at multiple spatial and temporal scales.
- Identify major threats to coastal bird populations and their interactions with at-risk populations.
- Contribute to conservation of coastal birds through the identification of research needs and implementation of applied, issues-driven research projects.
Current BRI Projects
- Study the chronic impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to coastal birds
- Breeding bird studies and surveys in the Caribbean
- Contaminants study of coastal birds
Coastal bird research in South Atlantic Bight, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean