Two remain on Sand Island, one on South Beach and the other on West Beach Trail. The pillbox on West Beach Trail, considered a National Historic Landmark, is behind a dune front and difficult to find. The one on South Beach was overlooked during the National Historic Landmark study.
These structures were built as defensive points along the beach with men stationed inside to guard against an invasion.
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During the breeding season, adult tropicbirds (see one pictured above over Midway lagoon) fly in a group around one another, swinging their tail streamers from side to side for several minutes to attract the female bird. Their courtship displays are complex and consist of flying backwards, vertically, and in large, vertical circles.