Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from In 1986, the piping plover was placed on the Federal Endangered Species list. [3] Its bill is orange with a black tip. There are two subspecies of piping plovers: the eastern population is known as Charadrius melodus melodus and the mid-west population is known as C. m. circumcinctus. Typically they run a few steps and then pause, then run again, pecking at the ground whenever they spot something edible. Piping Plovers nest above the high tide line, close to dunes or in areas of beach grass. Photo: Dick Dickinson/Audubon Photography Awards, Non-breeding adult. Where Do Piping Plovers Live? Spread the word. 4, sometimes 2-3, rarely 5. Help power unparalleled conservation work for birds across the Americas, Stay informed on important news about birds and their habitats, Receive reduced or free admission across our network of centers and sanctuaries, Access a free guide of more than 800 species of North American birds, Discover the impacts of climate change on birds and their habitats, Learn more about the birds you love through audio clips, stunning photography, and in-depth text. It is largely responsible for the relative success Piping Plovers have had in Connecticut in recent years. [28] This may lead to conflict between piping plover habitat conservation and human recreation because sea level rise will make the habitats take up a larger proportion of the islands. Florida coastline species are at particular risk to climate change because of not just sea level rise, but also increased tropical storms. [5] They have also been recorded across Cuba, with sparser occurrences elsewhere virtually throughout the West Indies, and even Ecuador and Venezuela.[6]. Nest is shallow scrape in sand, sometimes lined with tiny shells and pebbles. Once you focus your binoculars or scope on one, look at the sand-colored, brownish-gray plumage above, white below and two distinctive black bands; one that forms a black collar and the other a “head band” between the eyes, which are black. Climate change will likely increase sand temperatures and thus, piping plover’s ground-nesting behavior. [16] The Great Lakes populations eventually shrank to only around two dozen. Threats to the nest and chicks included a planned music festival in August. On coast, feeds on marine worms, small crustaceans, insects, other marine invertebrates. And they are among the species in the state that are benefiting fdirectly from habitat management and protection that your membership and donations help make possible. Bald Eagle. After chicks hatch, they are able to feed within hours. Legal Notices Privacy Policy Contact Us. The adult has yellow-orange legs, a black band across the forehead from eye to eye, and a black ring around the neck during the breeding season. If the female had seen the scrape as adequate, she will allow the male to stand on her back and copulation occurs within a few minutes. House Introduces Sweeping Legislation to Tackle Climate Change on Our Coasts, Audubon’s Delaware River Watershed Program Takes Flight with Key Conservation Funding. Most first-time nest attempts in each breeding season are four-egg nests which appear as early as mid-to-late April. [9] While it is federally threatened, the piping plover has been listed as state endangered in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. [3] Scrapes, small depressions in the sand dug by kicking the sand, are often in the same area that least terns choose to colonize. The piping plover's light call is a soft, whistled peep peep given by standing and flying birds. The piping plover lives the majority of its life on open sandy beaches or rocky shores, often in high, dry sections away from water. Their breeding habitat includes beaches and sand flats on the Atlantic coast, the shores of the Great Lakes, and in the mid-west of Canada and the United States. The legs are orange. Males perform display flights over breeding territory, with slow wingbeats and piping callnote. Look for them at the Milford Point Coastal Center,  Long Beach in Stratford, Griswold Point in Old Lyme, and Sandy Point in West Haven. Sandy beaches, tidal flats. PIPING PLOVER MODULE . The Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act calls for urgent action on the issues facing our ocean and coasts. U.S. Perhaps they’ll find a rock on the beach, or ridge in the sand, to crouch behind and out of the path of the wind. It is a sand-colored, dull gray/khaki, sparrow-sized shorebird. Visit your local Audubon center, join a chapter, or help save birds with your state program. This practice led to its initial population decline. Piping plover protected nesting area on Cavendish Beach, P.E.I. It ranges from 15–19 cm (5.9–7.5 in) in length, with a wingspan of 35–41 cm (14–16 in) and a mass of 42–64 g (1.5–2.3 oz).[4]. Breeding male circumcinctuses show more extensive black on forehead and bill-base and more often shows complete breast-bands. The piping plover (Charadrius melodus) is a small sand-colored, sparrow-sized shorebird that nests and feeds along coastal sand and gravel beaches in North America. Three chicks hatched in July, becoming the first within Cook County in 60 years. 44 Perfect Gifts for the Bird and Nature Lovers in Your Life, How the Evening Grosbeak Got Its Misleading Name. The adults' role is then to protect them from the elements by brooding them. The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Incubation is by both sexes, averages 26-28 days. Piping Plovers are much harder to find in inclement weather because their feathers mirror shades of rain and snow and fog. They nest on sandy or gravel beaches or shoals. In general, males are more dramatic in color than females, but they are quite similar. [18], Critical nesting habitats are now being protected to help the population during its breeding season. They can be found on the Atlantic Coast of the U.S. and Canada on the ocean or bay beaches and on the Great Lakes shores. Audubon is leading an ambitious effort to restore the Long Island Sound’s health, supporting waterbirds, shorebirds, and people, Protecting shorebirds in habitats especially vulnerable to development and climate threats. This suggests that the warming climate and increased water levels and precipitation will degrade piping plover breeding habitats in the Prairie Pothole Region. Females will sit and evaluate the scrapes, then choose a good scrape and decorate the nest with shells and debris to camouflage it. Please respect the law and do not cross any string fencing or posted areas that protect plovers from human disturbance. 2019 by Scott .Kruitbosch/RTPI. Zoom in to see how this species’s current range will shift, expand, and contract under increased global temperatures. The Parker River Refuge on Plum Island, Massachusetts is a national network of lands and rivers dedicated to the safety of its native wildlife and specifically the Piping Plover. [14][15], In the 19th century and early 20th century, the piping plover was utilized for its feathers, as were many other birds at the time, as decorations for women's hats.