Birds flock to Point Pleasant Beach, force fireworks display to move

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POINT PLEASANT BEACH -

Hundreds of endangered birds have taken over a large section of beach in Ocean County, closing it to visitors.

The birds have also forced big changes to Point Pleasant Beach's popular weekly fireworks display, which kicks off Thursday night.

About 150 pairs of nesting birds set up their homes on Jenkinson's Inlet Beach. The fireworks display, which is normally held on the northern beaches, has been moved to the southern beaches by about a mile to Risden's Beach.

The three species of birds at the beaches are the least terns, the American oystercatcher and the black skimmer. Experts from Jenkinson's Aquarium have taken daily watch over the area and say that so far, the terns and oystercatchers have hatched while the skimmers remain on their eggs. Those eggs should hatch in a few weeks.

The birds are also protecting their babies and were seen swooping down on sunbathers. Experts say you can sit near where the birds are nesting, just be aware of the hazards.

Officials expect the birds to remain on the beach for most of the summer.

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