1 of 3 American Oystercatchers
American oystercatchers are striking birds with white bellies, dark gray-brown backs and black heads. Adults have long, curved, bright-orange beaks and yellow eyes ringed with red. According to the Cornell Lab, they're found in salt marsh and barrier beach habitats where they're impacted by development and beach-goers, particularly during breeding season.
2 of 3 Least Terns
Least terns are the smallest terns in the world; fully grown, they weigh less than 2 ounces. Adults have yellow beaks and legs. They're white underneath with gray backs and black-capped heads with tapered black lines that extend over their eyes to their beaks. An Audubon guide describes their nests as shallow scrapes in the sand, sometimes lined with pebbles or grass.
3 of 3 Piping Plovers
Piping plovers are tiny, plump, oatmeal-colored birds with white bellies and stubby beaks. According to the National Park Service, their populations have been significantly impacted by habitat loss and human activity on beaches and tidal flats in the Great Lakes and along the Atlantic coast. Assateague supports the only nesting population in Maryland.