Pheathers – Shore Birds

Sea Gulls

We were able to do a little weekend fishing at the Delaware Bay in Fortescue. There were hundreds of shore birds on the beaches eating the eggs of the horseshoe crabs. We saw many varieties, and I hope I have the identification correct. Horseshoe crabs, once endangered, are a major source of food for migrating birds. “The fate of some species is tied to these horseshoe crabs.” ~Sea Around You

Ruddy Turnstone and Sandpiper

This was the first time I’ve photographed the Ruddy Turnstone wearing it’s breeding colors. The birds almost resemble calico cats. Their colors are bright and beautiful.

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This cormorant seemed to be craning his long neck to search for food in the water beneath him.


An informative article on shore birds can found at New Jersey Shorebirds.

Photograph – Endangered Sightings – One to Infinity

Numbers “Equations. Clock faces. Cash registers. Numbers are everywhere: this week, share a photo that puts them front and center.” The Photo Challenge at WordPress

On the drive to Fortescue, New Jersey, and the Delaware Bay last weekend, we saw a Bald Eagle having a meal in a cornfield. Bald Eagles are thriving in our state and 40% of them live in the lower counties. Years ago, the only eagles I encountered were in the Philadelphia Zoo or on the wildlife television channels. What thrill it is now to see them flying high, or to zoom in with my camera as an eagle brings down prey in a field.


Horseshoe crabs are also considered an endangered species, but since they have been protected, they are impossible to count. The infinite number of eggs they lay on the local bay beaches keeps the crab population growing, and provides food for shorebirds, many of them also endangered.

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Horseshoe crabs often upend in the waves. Unless they manage to turn themselves over, and many of them don’t, they will perish in the hot sun.


While my husband fished, I turned over dozens that lay with their undersides exposed. It’s amazing how fast these creatures can move when they are heading back to the cooling water of the bay.

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Peculiarities – Horseshoe Crabs

My beautiful picture

Horseshoe crabs are becoming a common sight once more along the beaches of the Delaware Bay. At one point in time they were severely endangered due to being used as fertilizer and bait for eels and whelks.

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A female lays between 60,000 to 120,000 eggs in a season. These eggs are important not only to further the population of horseshoe crabs, but also to provide food for endangered migratory shore birds.

Horseshoe crabs breed in shallow waters and lay their eggs along the beach. They easily upturn in the surf and it is not an uncommon sight to see dozens on their backs along the shoreline. Volunteers gather during mating season to turn the horseshoe crabs right side up again. You can read about their efforts here: Volunteers Saving Horseshoe Crabs

Although we weren’t part of a group, last year my cousin and I flipped all the upturned crabs we found back on their feet, or would that be legs…or claws? Anyway, we turned them right side up again. Unfortunately, several flipped onto their backs again with the next incoming wave. Still, I’m sure a few survived because of our efforts.

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We were really hungry after our rescue mission, and went to a terrific little bayside cafe called “The Landing.”

Project – Seashell Mobile


My cousin visited from out west this Spring. We spent a glorious day on some local beaches saving horseshoe crabs that had upended themselves and collecting sea glass and shells. I love the project she created with her finds, a seashell mobile, complete with a piece of ceramic turned into sea glass by the waves. I’m inspired! I was meaning to sort through my shells, but the thought of making one of these mobiles will give me a bit more incentive. So pretty!

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Collecting shells and saving overturned horseshoe crabs.

A good friend drilled the shells for my cousin. Use a thin drill bit with any type drill you are comfortable using. Notice the wooden block beneath the shell. If you don’t wear glasses put on a pair of safety glasses. Use fishing line to put the mobile together. This is a great project for shells, sea glass and other beach finds you might have collected over the years.