To the Editor:

Make way for humans! That’s what the shorebirds struggle with each day as they attempt to dine and nap on their home turf, the beach.

Most people are so into their own agendas, they don’t even know the birds exist. When I speak up for the birds, some people thank me for telling about their needs; others aren’t so nice, especially those with uncontrolled dogs.

On a recent morning, I stopped to thank a lady for taking pictures at a distance, not disturbing the birds, not making them fly. She laughed and said she loved this little family of the big mother bird watching over her little ones.

I almost corrected her that it was, instead, one lone laughing gull feeding along with a dozen sanderlings – no relation – until I thought about what was really important: Not identification, not avian knowledge, but simply courtesy and caring about another species besides ourselves.

I smiled and walked on. What a lovely lesson she imparted about kindness … toward a family of birds pecking away in the sand and deserving our attention and respect. Just birds! That’s enough.

I hope that others will stop to notice, and not disturb, our friends the shorebirds.

Debby Boots

Hilton Head Island