Birds on the Beach
You may have noticed the barriers placed on the sand to alert you to nesting areas.
Below is a recent picture of the birds currently nesting.
These are Black Skimmers. The Black Skimmer is distinctive for its unusual voice, brightly colored bill, and “skimming” behavior. When feeding, this coastal waterbird flies low, its long lower mandible slicing the water’s surface in search of fish.
Black Skimmers weigh about 11 ounces (300 grams), and measure 18 inches in length, with a wingspan of about 44 inches. Sexes look similar, with dark upperparts, a white forehead and underparts (juveniles are mottled brown instead of black), a short white tail with black center, red legs, and a large black-tipped red bill. Black Skimmers are the only birds whose lower mandible is longer than the upper. Laterally compressed to cut through water like a knife, the bill is uniquely adapted to catch small fish. The skimmers’ eyes have narrow vertical pupils, highly unusual in birds, which help reduce the glare from water and sand.
From the City of Belleair Beach Code of Ordinances
(b) It shall be unlawful to trap, hunt, shoot or attempt to shoot or molest, in any manner, any bird or wild fowl or to rob bird nests or wild fowl nests; provided, however, if starlings or similar birds are found to be congregating in such numbers in a particular locality that they constitute a nuisance or menace to health or property in the opinion of the proper health authorities of the city, the health authorities shall then meet with representatives of the Audubon Society, bird club, garden club or humane society, or as many of such clubs as are found to exist in the city, after having given at least three days’ actual notice of the time and place of the meeting to the representatives of such clubs.
(22) Heron and Pelican Islands shall be preserved as bird sanctuaries, and any form of development of such islands is strictly prohibited. The city shall cause appropriate signs to be posted on Heron and Pelican Islands denoting these areas as protected bird sanctuaries.
(22) The feeding or distributing grain or food of any kind or nature in such a manner as to attract birds, fowl or undomesticated animals of any kind or nature, whereby they tend to assemble or herd themselves together in a concentrated area causing a nuisance or potential health and safety hazard to public and private property. Crowing roosters or other noisy fowl are also declared to be a nuisance and shall not be kept or maintained within the city. For the purpose of this subsection, domesticated residential-family pets residing only within the property or residence of a property owner or occupant, fixed bird feeding devices, or free-roaming squirrels shall be exempt from the provision of this subsection.
(23) Any unsafe, unsanitary or unsightly condition that is not included above and that endangers the public health, welfare or safety.
Below you will find a PDF listing of birds found in Pinellas County.