2016-06-09 / Nature

Celebrate Birds of the Bay

By Jack Kelly


A pair of courting snowy egrets forage together for small fish and other prey in the Gooseneck Cove saltmarshes. Note the yellow feet of this species, known colloquially as “Golden Slippers,” and the voluminous breeding plumes on their breasts and backs. A pair of courting snowy egrets forage together for small fish and other prey in the Gooseneck Cove saltmarshes. Note the yellow feet of this species, known colloquially as “Golden Slippers,” and the voluminous breeding plumes on their breasts and backs. The Save The Bay Aquarium and Exploration Center at Newport’s Easton’s Beach is hosting a month-long celebration featuring birds of the bay. Each spring a multitude of avian species migrates from far off places to nest and breed on the islands of Narragansett Bay. A wide variety of bird species including raptors, wading birds, songbirds, shorebirds, and seabirds find their way to ancestral breeding grounds throughout Newport County.

According to Adam Kovarsky, aquarist and educator at the exploration center, “This will be a great event to allow folks to see the wide spectrum of bird life which migrates to our special little state. We are putting the spotlight on pretty amazing creatures!”


The green heron is a cryptic species, shy and retreating, which stalks its prey of fish, crustaceans, and other marine animals with deliberate and precise movements. It nests in seclusion along streams, ponds, and marshes. The green heron is a cryptic species, shy and retreating, which stalks its prey of fish, crustaceans, and other marine animals with deliberate and precise movements. It nests in seclusion along streams, ponds, and marshes. Activities are available for both adults and children, including scavenger hunts for bird photos and posters, bird walks on the beach to observe and identify species, and story time at 11 a.m. daily. Hands-on crafts for all ages are available, and visitors may build their own birds from recycled materials. Prizes including stickers and temporary animal tattoos; other awards will be presented to scavenger hunt winners.

For more information, call 401- 364-6020 or visit savebay.org/ aquarium.



The husky American oystercatcher is a large shorebird known for its colorful bill and size. These birds forage in salt marshes, intertidal areas, and along rocky coasts for oysters, mussels, clams and fish. They are known to nest on Rose Island in Newport Harbor and on islands up the bay. The husky American oystercatcher is a large shorebird known for its colorful bill and size. These birds forage in salt marshes, intertidal areas, and along rocky coasts for oysters, mussels, clams and fish. They are known to nest on Rose Island in Newport Harbor and on islands up the bay.

This little blue heron was sighted in the Gooseneck Cove salt marshes earlier this spring. This breed stalks its prey of fish slowly, preferring shallow freshwater and seashore wetlands. While none are known to make their home on Aquidneck Island, there have been reports of this species nesting in other areas of the bay. This little blue heron was sighted in the Gooseneck Cove salt marshes earlier this spring. This breed stalks its prey of fish slowly, preferring shallow freshwater and seashore wetlands. While none are known to make their home on Aquidneck Island, there have been reports of this species nesting in other areas of the bay.

The spotted sandpiper is known to nest in open areas of Newport County near shorelines and freshwater sources. It bobs the rear half of its body as it forages and has one of the most widespread breeding ranges of any American shorebird. The spotted sandpiper is known to nest in open areas of Newport County near shorelines and freshwater sources. It bobs the rear half of its body as it forages and has one of the most widespread breeding ranges of any American shorebird.

Return to top