PIPING PLOVER

The Piping plover is a small shorebird that blends in well with its sandy beach surroundings. It measures around 17 cm (7 in.) in length. In breeding plumage the adults have a narrow white collar lined with black and a small black line across the forehead. The under parts are white. The bird has large eyes relative to the head size. The bill is orange with a black tip, and the legs are orange. Sexes are similar. The bird’s name (English & Latin) refers to its calls and songs.

There are two main populations in Canada, the marine eastern one (Atlantic coast) and the freshwater mid-west one (Great Plains). The piping plover is nesting on beaches near the vegetation line, away from the water. The nests are highly vulnerable to disturbance and predators, including dogs being let loose on the beach by their owners. This bird is foraging for insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates in the sand.

Conservation: Although nesting on PEI and still fairly common in spring and summer, the piping plover is listed as endangered. In this article a pizza pan was used to relocate a nest that was on the tide line. In PEI Island Nature Trust is taking various measures to protect this bird. One of them is the closure of beach areas where and while it is nesting. Its wintering range covers mainly the coastal areas of the southeast USA and the Caribbean.  And now connections are being made with what happens to the piping plover in its wintering range, and efforts are made to help protect the birds there as well. There are only a few thousands of these birds left in the wild

Piping Plover on North Lake beach, PEI - June 12, 2017 © Lois Kilburn
Piping Plover on North Lake beach, PEI – June 12, 2017 © Lois Kilburn
Piping Plover - Fortune Beach, PEI - June 24, 2014 - © Sara Deveau
Piping Plover – Fortune Beach, PEI – June 24, 2014 – © Sara Deveau
Piping plover chick at 2 days old - Kings Point, East Hampton, NY - photo by Beaun
Piping plover chick at 2 days old – Kings Point, East Hampton, NY – photo by Beaun
Piping plover with chick - Cape May, NJ - photo by Bear Golden Retriever
Piping plover with chick – Cape May, NJ – photo by Bear Golden Retriever
Piping Plover chick - North Lake, PEI - June 15, 2018 - © Lois Kilburn
Piping Plover chick – North Lake, PEI – June 15, 2018 – © Lois Kilburn

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