|photo from U.S. FWS|
Here are some interesting facts about piping plovers:
- The Atlantic population is estimated at about 2000 pairs (U.S. FWS)
- Plovers eat insects, spiders, and crustaceans
- Piping plovers are migratory birds. For the Atlantic coast population, adults lay eggs all along the Atlantic coast during the spring and summer. Two other populations lay eggs on the shores of the Great Lakes area and on the shores of rivers and lakes in the northern Great Plains. The piping plovers spend the winter on the Gulf coast or more southern regions.
- Adults lay 4 eggs in April or May, and the eggs hatch in about 25 days.
- The first decline in the plover population was due to excessive hunting for the millinery trade during the early 1900s. After the population recovered to a peak population in the 1940s, beach development and human disturbance again threaten the population.
- The little plover chicks are so cute! As you can see from the above picture, they look like little dust balls on long legs!
- Respect all areas fenced or posted for protection of wildlife.
- Do not approach or linger near piping plovers or their nests.
- If pets are permitted on beaches used by plovers, keep your pets leashed. Keep cats indoors.
- Don't leave or bury trash or food scraps on beaches. Garbage attracts predators which may prey upon piping plover eggs or chicks.