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Beach-nesting birds

The NSW coast is home to many birds, but only a few species are beach-nesting birds. NSW National Parks and Saving our Species are collaborating to secure a future for these rare and threatened birds.

Read more about Beach-nesting birds

Only 6 species of birds nest on the beach along the NSW coastline. They are:

  • Little tern
  • Pied oystercatcher
  • Beach stone-curlew
  • Sooty oystercatcher
  • Hooded plover 
  • Red-capped plover

These birds lay their eggs in simple shallow scrapes in the sand, shingle, shell grit and pebbles, or in shallow depressions lined with grass and other vegetation. Their breeding success is poor, and their numbers are declining further because threats to the birds are increasing.

One of the biggest threats is disturbance from domestic dogs. These vulnerable birds nest along the shore in spring and summer – the peak seasons for recreational use of our beaches. Other threats include predators like foxes and ravens, and inundation from storms and king tides.

With the help of SoS, we've developed a recovery program. It includes identifying, assessing and managing nesting sites, managing predators and educating the community.

We're working with local councils, the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Crown Lands, the Department of Defence, Parks Australia and volunteers to deliver management and monitoring at identified sites. Volunteers contribute over 10,000 hours every year, making it one of the largest volunteer projects under the Saving our Species program.

Parks related to this program