Gravel rooftops take on an entirely new function during the spring and summer months: nesting habitat for sea and shorebirds.
Sea and shorebirds – including Black Skimmers, Least Terns, and American Oystercatchers – traditionally nest on sandy beaches and marshy islands, but those habitats are in high demand for coastal recreation. In addition to development that has reduced available habitat, birds nesting on beaches are at risk from human disturbance. Though Audubon monitors and protects many such colonies, some birds have taken to gravel rooftops that approximate a pebble-covered beach in order to raise their chicks.
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