Wildlife & Habitat

  • Black-crowned Night Heron

    Black-crowned Night Heron

    These herons can be found using the refuge to feed, roost and nest. Most sightings occur when the birds are flying or roosting in trees and shrubs. When the water levels are low and fish are abundant, the birds’ tactic for feeding is to stalk their prey – standing motionless in or along the water’s edge waiting for fish to come within reach to grasp it in their sharp-edged bill. They are nocturnal and feed primarily during crepuscular periods (dawn and dusk).

  • Yellowlegs

    Greater yellowlegs - USFWS.

    Yellowlegs are wading shorebirds which actively pursue their prey. Greater yellowlegs have a longer bill than the lesser yellowlegs and it appears slightly upturned. During the late spring and late summer, shorebirds like the greater yellowlegs stop at Lido Beach Wildlife Management Area to take advantage of mudflat habitat. The greater yellowleg along with other shorebird species will pick over these mudflats feeding on small aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates.

  • Aquatic Habitats

    Estuary - USFWS.

    Lido Beach is part of the Hempstead estuary, which is noted for its impressive concentrations of waterfowl, long-legged waders, terns, and shorebirds. Hempstead Bay is one of the largest undeveloped coastal wetland ecosystems in New York. Although small in size and forming only a modest portion of the Bay, Lido Beach provides important habitat for wetland-dependent wildlife.

    The Hempstead Harbor is known for its concentrations of shorebirds during migration. Plovers and sandpipers are commonly observed at Lido Beach. Occasionally, such shorebird species as whimbrels, marbled godwits, and pectoral sandpipers may be observed in the management area. Willets nest there in early summer, and glossy ibis have been sighted roosting on the piles of dredge spoil.

  • Tidal Wetlands

    Tidal wetlands

    The Wildlife Management Area consists primarily of tidal wetland. The diversity of shorebirds and wading bird is high, as is the use by waterfowl, particularly black ducks and Atlantic brant in winter. The area supports nesting clapper rails, black-crowned night herons and osprey, as well as numerous songbirds such as sharp-tailed sparrows. Its location on a barrier island makes it an excellent habitat for migrating songbirds and raptors.

    The marsh at Lido Beach is a typical mixture of salt hay and salt grass; some black grass, glassworts, and smooth cordgrass also are present. Approximately 45 percent of Lido Beach is ditched high salt marsh. That ditching is deep, and well-flushed by daily tides. Two mudflats on the marsh are being pioneered by glasswort species. The mud flats provide an excellent foraging area for a variety of shorebirds.