Tag Archives: Charadrius melodus

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ARE DONATING TO OUR PIPING PLOVER FILM PROJECT!

Dear PiPl Friends,

A huge shout out to our newest contributors to our Piping Plover film project fundraiser. My deepest thanks and appreciation to Alice and David Gardner (Beverly), JoeAnn Hart (Gloucester), Kim Tieger (Manchester), Joanne Hurd (Gloucester), Holly Niperus (Phoenix), Bill Girolamo (Melrose), Claudia Bermudez (Gloucester), Paula and Alexa Niziak (Rockport), Todd Pover (Springfield), Cynthia Dunn (Gloucester), Nancy Mattern (Albuquerque), Sally Jackson (Gloucester), and my sweet husband Tom 🙂 Thank you so very much for your support and for seeing the tender beauty in the life story of the Piping Plover.

Progress update – We are currently working with the stellar editing staff at Modulus Studios in Boston. Eric Masunaga and his assistant Shannon also worked on our sister film project, Beauty on the Wing. Keeping my fingers crossed and not wanting to jinx our progress, but the hope/goal is to have a cut ready to begin submitting to film festivals by the end of 2023. We have also received exceptionally helpful content advice from both Carolyn Mostello, the Massachusetts Coastal Waterbird Biologist and Todd Pover, Senior Wildlife Biologist for Conserve Wildlife New Jersey.

Thank you so very much again for your kind help.

Warmest wishes,

Kim

To contribute to The Piping Plovers of Moonlight Bay, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our online Network for Good fundraiser DONATE HERE

 

To learn more about The Piping Plovers of Moonlight Bay documentary please go here.

HipHop

FUNNY PIPING PLOVER CHICKS NEW SHORT FILM

Tiny Piping Plover chicks weigh about as much as a nickel at the time of hatching. Although capable of running about within a few hours after pushing out of their eggshells, one-day-old chicks are extraordinarily vulnerable. They are also adorably funny as they learn how to navigate the varied beach terrain and to forage for food. The hatchlings study their out-sized feet, stretch tiny wing buds, fall into mini fox holes, and tumble over even while only trying to scratch themselves. It’s not easy being one-day-old!

Mom and Dad spend a great deal of time helping the chicks to regulate their body temperature, especially in the earliest days of the chick’s life. In the last clips, Dad calls to the four siblings to warm up under his downy soft underwing feathers.  And by the way, Plover Dads are truly super heroes in the life story of the Piping Plover, co-parenting equally, and even then some.

The footage in this short is from the forthcoming film, The Piping Plovers of Moonlight Bay. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our online fundraiser to help complete our documentary. Filming is finished however, post-production and festival costs have sky-rocketed; they are much greater than when we released our sister film project about species at risk, Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly. Without our community’s help, we could not have launched Beauty on the Wing. Working with the community to produce Beauty on the Wing made it far more meaningful.

We are deeply appreciative of any gifts given. Thank you.

Please donate here to our Network for Good online fundraiser https://filmmakerscollab.networkforgood.com/projects/55077-filmmakers-collaborative-the-piping-plovers-of-moonlight-bay

 

 

WORLD SHOREBIRDS DAY – A CELEBRATION OF SHOREBIRDS!

HAPPY WORLD SHOREBIRDS DAY! Today, September 6th, marks the 10th anniversary of Worlds Shorebird Day. Worlds Shorebird Day was founded to help bring awareness to the plight of  shorebirds. More than 50 percent of shorebird species around the globe are in decline. 

Our documentary, The Piping Plovers of Moonlight Bay, shines a light on the Plovers and how these remarkably valiant little birds are surviving the pressures of habitat loss, human disturbance, and a warming climate. Massachusetts is at the fore of Piping Plover recovery and we are doing much that is right however, the recovery is not going as well in other regions.

Please think about donating to our film. I think of Plovers as a gateway species, similar to Monarch butterflies. Through developing a deeper understanding of the birds, people will be inspired to do all they can to join citizens around the world in providing safe habitat for nesting and migrating shorebirds.  Our sister film, Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly is currently airing on PBS and has reached markets in 87 percent of US households, in all major cities. Wouldn’t it be wonderfully meaningful to have that kind of outreach for Plovers!

DONATE HERE https://filmmakerscollab.org/films/piping-plovers-of-moonlight-bay/

 

LAUNCHING OUR PIPING PLOVER FILM FUNDRAISING EVENT TODAY!

Dear Friends,

As many of you know that while we Piping Plover Ambassadors have been looking out over Cape Ann’s PiPls, I have also been working on a documentary film about Plovers nesting in Gloucester, along with filming Plover populations found at communities all around the north of Boston coastal region. Our GHB Plovers first arrived in Gloucester in 2016 and it was evident from the very first days that they were struggling to survive under the pressures of human and pet disturbances. As we were learning how to best help the Plovers nest undisturbed, I began to document Plovers at many other beaches to learn how other communities managed their Plover populations. I focused mostly on urban beaches as they are most similar to Good Harbor Beach.

Over the course of filming, I have spent several years documenting nesting Piping Plovers pairs that are extraordinary in their parenting skills, similar to our original pair of GHB Plovers, Super Dad and Super Mom. The documentary, The Piping Plovers of Moonlight Bay, is based on true life stories and is set in a fictional Massachusetts coastal town to protect the location of the Plovers.

Today we are launching our fundraising campaign. I am very proud to share that we have received our very first grant, from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Here is a link to our online fundraiser:

Link to our 501c fiscal sponsor Filmmakers Collaborative: https://filmmakerscollab.org/films/piping-plovers-of-moonlight-bay/
Link to the trailer: https://vimeo.com/818861213
Link to the Piping Plover Project website: https://wordpress.com/view/pipingploverproject.org

Gifts for The Piping Plovers of Moonlight Bay will support post production and distribution costs, including re-recording voiceover narration, color and sound editors, picture mastering, studio time, festival fees and applications, music and map rights, and an underwriting agent to bring the film to the wide audience of public television. Our goal is to raise $80,500.00 for post production with a total of $115,000.00 if the film is accepted to air on public television.

The names of underwriters contributing $10,000.00 and above will be proudly listed in the film’s special underwriting credit pod. What does it mean to be an underwriter? When you watch a film on public television and the announcer says (for example), “This program was made possible by gifts from Katherine and Charles Cassidy, by The Fairweather Foundation, by Lillian B. Anderson, and by The Arnhold Family, in Memory of Clarisse Arnhold,” that’s where your name, or the name of your foundation, will appear, at both the beginning and at the end of the film.

If you are interested in becoming an underwriter, please feel free to phone (978-290-3804) or email and I will be happy to send the formal proposal and budget.

All supporters, no matter how large or small the donation, will be listed on the film’s website. Any amount contributed is tremendously appreciated.

Thank you for being part of launching The Piping Plovers of Moonlight Bay!

Very best wishes,

Kim

AUGUST PIPING PLOVER UPDATE AND HOW A CHANGING CLIMATE MAY HAVE IMPACTED CAPE ANN’S PIPLS

Dear PiPl Friends,

A brief note about film progress – Several friends have written to ask why I have not been posting as frequently as usual. For many months I have been working like crazy to get my forthcoming documentary, “The Piping Plovers of Moonlight Bay,” ready to bring to my film finishing editor, Eric. The schedule is tight, exacerbated by a complicated computer crash. We also have a houseful of family and guests, as I am sure is not atypical for the month of August  for all of us who live on beautiful Cape Ann. The great news is I have made my deadline! Eric and and I will be working on finishing the documentary in September, along with raising the funds needed to finish and to submit to film festivals.

After weeks of unseasonably cooler temps, followed by a brief heat wave, the last few weeks here on Cape Ann have been mild and wonderfully enjoyable. We who live here are so very blessed to have escaped the baking temperatures experienced worldwide.

In some ways, our Cape Ann Piping Plovers benefitted from the off-weather but several extreme storms proved lethal. Super Mom and Super Dad laid a clutch of four eggs during the cool spring. Only three eggs hatched, which is unusual for our Super pair. A brief reminder-  Super Mom and Super Dad are called as such as they are the breeding pair that first began nesting at Good Harbor Beach in 2016. Through pet disturbances, parking lot nests, bonfires, fireworks, 200 plus underage drinking parties, and physical disability, along with crows and gulls hungrily drawn to the garbage strewn beach, despite all that, they have managed to successfully breed at Good Harbor Beach for the past eight years. Super Mom and Dad are also the parents of HipHop, our handicapped fledgling from last summer.

Although the rain and colder than normal temperatures delayed nesting, when the weather is rotten, the beach is empty, which leaves nesting birds largely undisturbed. Shorebird monitors everywhere love to see foggy, rainy days as the birds get a break from the crowds. Paula, one of our stellar Ambassadors reminds us “rainy weather if for the birds,” and that is literally true, in a positive way 🙂

We inexplicably lost one of Super Mom and Dad’s chicks when it was about ten days old. The two remaining chicks, who soon gained the nicknames the Chubettes, grew fat and strong on a diet rich in sea life protein found in the tidal flats at GHB. We said farewell to the pair when they were approximately seven weeks old and had become ace flyers, zooming high and all around the beach.

Our second pair of Plovers did not fare as well. Two of the chicks hatched during a violent storm and the family did not survive.

Our third nesting pair, Mini Mom and Scruffy Dad, are a first time breeding pair at Good Harbor Beach.  Mini Mom has very distinct feather patterning and I believe this was her third year attempting to nest at GHB.   Late in the season, they laid a clutch of four eggs and all four hatched and were thriving. That terrible storm of several weeks ago, the one that raged all night and where lightening struck GHB several times, was devastating for the little family. It’s not unusual to lose one chick in a violent storm but to lose two chicks overnight was tough for us all. The good news though is that the remaining two offspring of Mini Mom and Scruffy Dad are the fattest little things you have ever seen and, at the time when this is published, may already have departed Good Harbor Beach for their wintering grounds.

This was the first year we Cape Ann PiPl Ambassadors have worked with Mass Audubon and Devon Harrington, the City’s assistant conservation agent. I simply cannot say enough good things about Devon and the fabulous Mass Audubon team. Headed by Lyra Brennan, Director of Mass Audubon’s Coastal Waterbird Program, and Malarie (a Gloucester native), along with her fellow field agents Sydney (also from Gloucester), Kirsten, and Beth; the GHB Plovers had the best coverage ever! It was fantastic to have so many eyes on the PiPls throughout the day and communication between Mass Audubon and the Ambassadors was superb. Lyra and Devon had given an outstanding presentation on Mass Audubon protocols early in the spring and it set the tone for the summer. We are looking forward to working with Devon, Lyra, Malarie, Sydney, Kirsten, and the entire Mass Audubon team again next year!

Tiny PiPL chick learning to forage

Our dunes have not looked this healthy in many decades, due to an added benefit from roping off the low lying areas at the base of the dunes for Piping Plovers. Because the base of the dunes are being protected from foot traffic, for the most part, we no longer have receding bluffs with a sharply exposed face. The dunes are becoming gently sloped and covered with beach grass, Sea Rocket, Seaside Goldenrod, and Common Milkweed, all filling in and holding the sand in place.

Dave Rimmer, Essex County Greenbelt’s Director of Land Stewardship, shares that over at Coffins Beach in West Gloucester, he and his team have been managing a wonderfully active summer.The final count is not yet in, but it appears as though eight chicks will have fledged from Coffins. This may well bring the total of chicks from Gloucester beaches to a whopping one dozen!!

New face on the block – a migrating  young Plover stopping at Good Harbor Beach for fortification.

A huge shout out to Gloucester’s DPW. The GHB parking lot has been maintained beautifully this summer. The DPW is super on top of removing the giant mound of trash that is found at the footbridge nearly every morning and also emptying the barrels that are often overflowing after a busy beach day.

Gloucester’s DPW crew also installed the handicapped ramp at Boardwalk #2, making it much easier for wheelchairs and wagons to access the beach. Within hours of installing, the blue ramp was in much use!

An hour after install

Wing stretches

 

GOOD HARBOR BEACH PIPING PLOVERS FEATURED IN TODAY’S GLOUCESTER TIMES!!

Many, many thanks to Gloucester Daily Times’s writer Ethan Forman and Editor-in-Chief Andrea Holbrook for today’s story about out GHB Plovers.  Ethan always takes the time to get it right. Thank you!!!

By Ethan F orman Staff Writer

Despite the loss of some tiny chicks to storms this summer, efforts to protect the threatened piping plover shorebirds at Gloucester’s Good Harbor Beach by the Piping Plover Ambassadors and Mass Audubon were deemed a success this summer.

Three pairs of piping plovers nested at Good Harbor Beach, one more than usual.

Those watching over the piping plovers said they again spotted Super Mom, the onelegged piping plover who has been coming to the beach since 2016.

“It was fantastic in many ways,” said Gloucester resident Kim Smith, who heads up the efforts of about 20 Piping Plover Ambassadors. She believes climate change affected the piping plovers “in a funny way this year.”

“I think because of the extreme storms that we had,” she said. “We lost basically six chicks during extreme weather. That’s a lot.”

Despite the loss of those chicks, efforts to protect them and the survivors were successful, Smith said.

“We worked with Mass Audubon this year, we had many more eyes on the chicks, and if we hadn’t had those storms, we would’ve fledged

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

CONGRATULATIONS TO MASSACHUSETTS WITH 1,100 PAIRS OF PIPING PLOVERS – OUTSTANDING COASTAL WATERBIRD COOPERATORS MEETING!

The annual Northeast Coastal Waterbird Cooperators meeting was held live last week in Barnstable at Cape Cod Community College’s new science and engineering center. After several years of attending virtually, it was a joy to meet in person.

Conservation organization’s representatives from all eight Massachusetts coastal regions, along with representatives from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine share numbers and anecdotes about breeding pairs of endangered and threatened shorebirds including Piping Plovers, Least Terns, American Oyster Catchers, Roseate Terns, and Black Skimmers.  It’s fascinating to learn how we are largely all sharing similar experiences with predators and disturbances of all shapes and kinds. Carolyn Mostello, the Massachusetts Coastal Waterbird Biologist, directs the event and she does an extraordinary job of weaving all the information together.

Sharing numbers is followed by “Strange and Unusual,” a super fun section where field agents share funny/odd occurrences, photos, and videos for example, PiPl nests with five eggs, strangely colored and oddly shaped eggs, parking lot nesters, and more. Carolyn shared the trailer for my forthcoming film, The Piping Plovers of Moonlight Bay, and I am happy to share that it was very much enjoyed by the attendees!

The afternoon programs are especially fascinating with presenters sharing experiments and projects including two of special interest; one on using odors to deter mammalian predators and another with music and different sounds to deter Black-crowned Night Herons from eating shorebird eggs. All the programs are wonderfully educational.

Perhaps the most outstanding piece of information is that this year, Massachusetts was home to 1100 breeding pairs of Plovers. That may not sound like a whole heck of a lot considering our hundreds of miles of coastline, but 1,000 pairs has been a long held goal of shorebird recovery programs in Massachusetts. We should be super proud of our state. While many regions are seeing very little, none, or even worse, declining numbers, Massachusetts is leading the way in Piping Plover recovery!

Smooshed!

 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL THE SUPER DADS!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL THE WONDERFUL SUPER DAD’S, both human and avian!

My husband Tom is the best Dad you could ever imagine. From Tom, I inherited the best father-in-law, his Dad. My heart is filled with much joy when I see my son Alex with his daughter and know he has inherited their same thoughtful and kind, gentle loving nature. I don’t want to go on about this because I realize not everyone is so blessed and that there are many absentee fathers out there, mine included. Enjoy all the Dads in your life and know you are so very blessed if you are fortunate to know a good one.

The first photo is of a Piping Plover Dad thermosnuggling his three chicks and was taken recently at a beach on the south shore. I think the chicks are about three weeks old in the photo and it reminded me of our Good Harbor Super Dad. We call him Super Dad for a variety of reasons, but one of the most poignant is how he stayed with the handicapped chick for a month beyond the date when HipHop’s siblings had already learned to fly. It took Hip Hop twice as long to manage sustained flight but Super Dad was with him every step of the way. I think this is very unusual in the animal kingdom and is counter intuitive to the survival of the adult.

The second photo is of another species of shorebird that breeds along the New England coast, the Least Tern. Least Tern Dads share equally in brooding eggs.

Unlike Piping Plover chicks, which are precocial birds and can feed themselves within hours after hatching, Least Terns are semi-precocial and need to be fed by the adults. Least Tern Dads share equally in feeding the chicks.

OUR FIRST FULL WEEK WORKING WITH AUDUBON- JUNE 11th PLOVER LOVER WEEKEND UPDATE

Dear PiPl Friends,

As many of our PiPl followers are aware, this year the City of Gloucester hired Mass Audubon to help manage Cape Ann’s Plover population. We’ve had our first full week of collaborating with Mass Audubon and I have to say it just could not be better for all involved, but most importantly, for the Piping Plovers! The Mass Audubon staff is tremendously professional, kind, friendly, dedicated to wildlife conservation, and very personable. Lyra, who heads the coastal waterbird program for Mass Audubon, and Devon, Gloucester’s assistant conservation agent both have a great deal of experience managing Piping Plovers and are quick to respond to questions and challenges as they arise.

A few changes have been made to the beach. The roped off Plover areas to protect the Plovers has increased, however, there is still loads of space for beachgoers. An added bonus to creating safe spaces for Plovers is that over time, we have seen how the established protected areas for the Plovers has vastly improved the overall health of the beach. Why is that? Because when people and pets aren’t recreating up against the dunes, new vegetation is allowed to take hold including native American Beach Grass (Ammophila breviligulata), American Sea-rocket (Cakile edentula), Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), Beach Pea (Lathyrus japonicus) and Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens). Protecting the dunes is one of the best coastal strategies for combating a warming climate. It’s truly a beautiful thing to see how much healthier are our dunes!

Another change that has taken place are the guidelines in how close we should stand when observing the Plovers. One of the most important ways to help the Plovers is to give them lots and lots of space. If we hover/stand/place camera gear for long periods of time pointing to the Plovers, wildlife biologists working with Mass Audubon have documented that this activity attracts Crows and Gulls! You may ask, “why is that a bad thing?” Crows voraciously eat Plover eggs and hungry seagulls eat Plovers at all stages of development, including eggs, hatchlings, and even 3 week old chicks.

The best way for we beachgoers to help the Plovers is to watch from a distance and not hover near the birds. With a half-way decent lens and a camera sensor with a good crop factor we can get beautiful shots from a safe distance. The City, Mass Audubon, and we Ambassadors are all asking this of the community and we are deeply appreciative of your help.

Piping Plover smackdown – The video is of our handicapped Super Mom. Her disability does not impede her determination nor ability in defending her territory. She is perhaps Good Harbor Beach’s most fierce Plover, despite her missing foot.

Piping Plovers ferociously defend their nesting territory from intruders of every shape and size; puffing up their feathers to appear larger, chasing, and even biting the offender. Here she is in early spring defending her little slice of Good Harbor Beach from Scruffy Boy’s shenanigans!

 

 

 

PIPING PLOVER JUNE 4th UPDATE

Dear PiPl Friends,

Many have written looking for a PiPl update and I just want to assure everyone that the PiPls have so far managed to survive the high tides and very unseasonably cold temperatures. The tides are predicted to be very high this week so we’ll just keep our hopes up we won’t have a wash out.

A first ever for me this morning; I checked on the Plovers wearing a wooly winter weight sweater, heavy coat, and thick socks. The temperature was 45 degrees on the beach!

Super Mom foot pattering

Super Mom is doing especially beautifully. Plovers do a sort of “foot pattering” when foraging. The behavior is also called “foot-trembling” or “foot-tapping.” They shake their foot in the sand, then cock their heads as though listening. The vibrations caused by the foot pattering helps to bring worms and mollusks closer to the surface. The prey is usually a few inches away from where they are pattering, but sometimes as much as a foot away, nonetheless, the PiPl runs to the potential prey, plunges their beak into the sand, and almost always surfaces with some kind of invertebrate.

This seems like such an important behavior for the Plovers to enable them to successfully forage. I wondered if Mom would still shake her leg with her missing foot. Last week I observed Mom foot pattering! She doesn’t alternate feet, as is typical, but uses only her footless right leg to patter and stir up the sand. Her ability to adapt her behaviors to survive her handicap is extraordinary!

Super Dad napping (on a warmer day this past week)

 

 

 

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY, PIPL UPDATE, AND HAPPY 98TH BIRTHDAY TO MY FATHER-IN-LAW CORNELIUS HAUCK!

Dear PiPl Friends,

We returned last night from Ohio where we were celebrating Memorial Day and my father-in-law, Cornelius Hauck’s, 98th birthday. He is the most charming and kindest person; funny, witty, wry, full of wonderful stories, brilliant, and generous are just a few of the adjectives that describe him. I am writing this to you because he shared several secrets to his longevity. Stay active mentally and physically (PT every morning and walking every day) and a cold shower every morning! That last part was news to all of us 🙂 He didn’t mention this, but I am adding that he only retired when he was about 85 years old! He also eats well-balanced meals and has a bourbon (or two) everyday. We all just wish he didn’t live so far from Gloucester.

Grandpa shared a story about his service in WWII. When he first enlisted, he was rejected because he is well over six feet tall, but only weighed 140 pounds. As the War progressed and the Army needed more troops, they allowed him to serve but not in the usual capacity. He has had a lifelong interest in trains and because he was familiar with all the train lines running across the country, he was put in charge of scheduling soldiers traveling on leave.

My father-in-laws’ interest in trains only grew over the years and in his spare time, he went on to write and publish many photographs, books, and articles about trains, and to co-found the Colorado Railroad Museum, located in Golden, Colorado.

PiPl update –

This morning found Mom peacefully guarding her eggs on the nest and Dad foraging along the water’s edge. I was there early and the DPW hadn’t yet been to clean up the beach. We are so grateful to the DPW for the job that they do, but the crew would not have to be stuck with so much litter/trash/garbage if we enforced our litter laws. Also, dismayed to see remnants of several bonfires. I didn’t make it all the way down the beach; it’s lovely out now but this morning was very windy.

DPW’s beautiful new GHB boardwalk

THE BEST PLOVER NEWS! #ploverjoyed

Hello PiPl Friends!

Joyful update to share – Super Dad and Handicapped Mom have done it again!! We have a nest! Our Super Couple has been nesting at GHB since 2016, making this their 8th nest in 8 years. We are so blessed to have this valiant, beautiful little pair of PiPls that call GHB their home <3

Nesting is going more slowly at other areas of the beach. We are consistently seeing 3 males duking it out, from one end of the beach to the opposite end. The females that have stopped at GHB have not stayed long. I think we should keep a strong eye out at Cape Hedge because it is only one beach further north and because one of the females that was briefly at GHB had very pale markings, similar to the female that nested at Cape Hedge.

Based on our Super Couple’s past nesting history, I think we should begin monitoring the Plovers full time on Friday, June 2nd. Please send your preferred times and we’ll make up a schedule. I haven’t heard back yet from Mass Audubon about their schedule but during the meeting, we mentioned to Lyra that we would prefer mornings, afternoons, and early evenings, not mid-day, which seems as though it will work perfectly with the times Mass Audubon field agents are on the beach. I look forward to hearing from you regarding scheduling.

I am very behind in updates and apologize for that! My butterfly and native plants ABC garden for the elementary kids at Phillips Academy campus in Andover needed much attention after a period of neglect due to Covid. This past week, we had a team of FORTY EIGHT volunteers from Liberty Mutual come and help clean up the campus and dig new beds. They were beyond unbelievable. This is a program offered by Liberty Mutual to help nonprofits. Even the CEO was there pitching in, working just as hard as everyone else, digging and carting away wheelbarrows of soil. It was a whirlwind cleanup, amazing, and I am still reeling from the amount of work they accomplished.

This fantastic illustration was shared by our dedicated and long-time PiPl Ambassador Jill Ortiz.

Plastics and the Plight of the Piping Plover

“This submission is a photograph of a poster sized piece of artwork created by students from Hanscom Primary School on Hanscom Air Force Base.
Students learned about the piping plover and the impact of plastics on shore and marine life. Students drew the bird, nest and eggs. They used plastics that were to be trashed and repurposed them to create this collage. Every student then made a shell to add to the creation.”

Happy Mother’s Day to all our PiPl Friends that are Moms!
xoxo Kim

P.S. Did you know that we have Water Snakes at nearly every body of water on Cape Ann and throughout Massachusetts? I did not, but became interested in learning more after seeing several while working on my pond film. May is an amazing time of year for wildlife in New England! Scroll through to see just some of the wildlife happenings taking place right here in our midst – – https://kimsmithdesigns.com/

HAPPY UPDATE FROM PLOVERVILLE #ploverjoyed!

Dear PiPl Friends,

FIVE PiPls are currently on the scene! The additional two appeared Wednesday morning, as shared by ACOfficers Teagan and Jamie. I located all five yesterday afternoon. It was cold and very windy and all (except our freewheeling scruffy male), were huddled behind clumps of seaweed, on the opposite side of the incoming wind. The two newest arrivals are definitely one male, but I couldn’t tell conclusively if the other was a very light male or a dark female.  (I hope so much he/she is a female!).Super Mom flanked by Super Dad (left) and newly arrived PiPl, either female or male?

At first I only spotted four but then I heard a sharp peep. I thought that’s weird, the four are quietly resting, and it sounded like the peep was from behind. Where did it come from? Must be the wind playing tricks with my hearing. A few minutes later I got up to leave, and the fifth one was resting in the sand about four feet away!

We’re heading into peak spring migration so stay tuned!

Male arrived overnight 

I have been chatting with the Mass Audubon field agents in the morning and am just so inspired by these young earnest biologists, so eager to help and make an impactful difference. They are much like the field agents that I meet at DCR beaches, really kind people. I am looking forward to our Ambassadors and beachgoers meeting the Mass Audubon group!

Recently I attended a virtual meeting for the NYCity volunteer Plover ambassadors. It’s fascinating to learn how other urban beaches manage their PiPl populations, both the positive and the negative aspects. They encounter nearly the exact same responses and issues as do we. Ninety percent of their encounters are positive and people love the birds. They have the same negatives as well – namely dogs and people running through the nesting areas and dunes.

We had a wonderful turnout for the GHB Earth Day clean-up event. With thanks and gratitude to Reverend Sue from the Annisquam Village Church and Rory McCarthy from Clean the Creek for organizing the event. Thank you so very much to everyone who lent a hand!!

Enjoy the sun while it’s shining!

Warmest wishes,

xxKim

Our perpetually scruffy-looking, as of yet, unattached, male

Female of male? Leaning toward female as Super Dad allowed her to rest quietly in close proximity to Super Mom, without chasing her/him away

One more of the new boy

 

Watch how handicapped Piping Plover Super Mom has adapted in how she gets around

Lots of folks are asking, “how does Piping Plover Super Mom manage with her missing foot?” She has adapted beautifully however, you can see from these short clips, that it takes much more effort to get around.

If you see Plovers on the beach know that one may be Super Mom. Plovers need minimal disruption as they are becoming established at their nesting sites and Super Mom even more so.

Thank you for giving the Plovers all the space that they need!

In the summer of 2021, one of the Good Harbor Beach Piping Plover’s foot became entangled in dried seaweed and monofilament. Over the winter she lost all the toes on her right foot. She returned to GHB in 2022. Piping Plover Super Mom has adapted in how she walks, runs, forages, preens, and even in how she mates. Over the summer of 2022 she and her long time partner, Super Dad, successfully raised four chicks to fledge. She has again returned to her nesting site in the spring of 2023. She is healthy, foraging well, and nest scraping with her mate!

FROM THE GLOUCESTER TIMES – MASS AUDUBON TO HELP PROTECT PLOVERS

We’d like to send a heartfelt thank you to the Gloucester Daily Times staff writer Ethan Forman and editor-in-chief Andrea Holbrook for writing about our Good Harbor Beach Plovers. We friends of Cape Ann Plovers appreciate so much your thoughtful writing and taking the time to get the story straight!

Mass Audubon to help protect threatened plovers

By Ethan Forman

The sighting of the one-footed piping plover Super Mom, and others like her on Good Harbor Beach during the last week in March, coincides with human activity there meant to help preserve and protect coastal shorebirds during the busy summer beach season.

That includes the installation of symbolic fencing made up of metal posts and yellow rope around the dunes with signs letting beachgoers know the “Restricted Area” is “a natural breeding ground for piping plovers.”

“These rare birds, their nests and eggs are protected under Massachusetts and federal laws,” the signs read.

The nation’s oldest seaport is taking extra steps this year to monitor and minimize disturbances to Super Mom and others of her threatened species of small, stocky migratory birds that have made the popular beach their summer home in recent years.

On Monday, the city announced it had entered into an agreement with Mass Audubon to help with the monitoring and management of coastal nesting birds, including piping plovers, on the city’s public beaches, according to a press release.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

WONDERFUL NEWS – HANDICAPPED PIPING PLOVER SUPER MOM AND SUPER DAD REUNITED!!!

Dear PiPl Friends,

We are overjoyed to share that our Super Mom and Dad have reunited!

Early last week while checking on Plovers, it appeared as though one of the sets of Plover tracks was our Super Mom. The day was very windy and the tracks were disappearing as I was filming however, they looked like tracks made by a peg leg. Later in the week, I spotted the pair we have been seeing since the last week in March. Because of the cold and wind they had been laying low. But sure enough, as soon as the female moved, it was clear she was our handicapped Mom!

Handicapped Mom’s tracks

I think it’s truly extraordinary that our handicapped Mom has twice been able to make the round trip migration south to north and north to south, despite her missing digits. With her missing toes, she has had to totally adapt in how she walks, runs, stands, forages, nests, preens and even how she mates.

Wildlife can be remarkably resilient. I am reminded of the Great Lakes Old Man Plover, one of the oldest Plovers on record. When he was about 11 years old, he lost the toes on his left leg, just like our Super Mom has lost hers on her right leg. He continued to return to Sleeping Bear Dunes until 2017, when he disappeared.He was fifteen years old when last seen.

Super Mom

We also have a handsome bachelor who is actively calling for a mate. Hopefully his loud piping will entice a migrating female to check out GHB!

One Plover has been spotted at Cape Hedge by Plover Ambassador Paula. The weather was cold and windy and the PiPl was difficult to see  from a distance whether male or female.

Piping Plovers are extremely vulnerable to disturbance while trying to establish their nests. If you see them on the beach, give them a nod, but please give them lots and lots of space. We all thank you for your kind consideration!

Nest-making – Dad on the left, our Mom with her missing foot on the right

If you would like to join our Piping Plover Ambassador group, please email me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com, or leave a comment in the comment section and I will get back to you. Thank you.

 

 

 

HOW WE CAN ALL HELP CAPE ANN PLOVERS SETTLE IN FOR THE NESTING SEASON

Dear Friends,

A friendly reminder that after March 31st,  pets are not permitted at Good Harbor Beach until after September 30th. Thank you!

At this time each year, we receive many reports of, and are sent photos of, dog owners not adhering to the seasonal change in policy regarding pets on the beach. If you see a dog on the beach, the best way to help is to please take a photo and call the Gloucester PD Animal Control phone line at 978-281-9746. If no one answers, please leave a message with the time and location.

We are hoping the no pets sign at the Salt Island end of the beach will be installed soon and that the flashing sign will again be put to good use. Our Animal Control Officers Jamie and Teagan work very hard patrolling the beach and chasing after scofflaws, but they can’t be there 24/7. For the common good of the community, it’s up to us as individuals to follow the signage and respect wildlife that makes their home on the beach.

Every community in Massachusetts that is home to nesting shorebirds has both a legal and principled obligation to share the share with wildlife. To say nothing of the joy to be found in helping vulnerable and endangered creatures. Please try to understand that if dog owners continue to bring their dogs to the beach and the City does not enforce the pet ordinance, Good Harbor (and any beach) is at risk of shutting down for the summer. NO ONE WANTS THAT. The City and we Ambassadors work very hard to be in compliance with Massachusetts and Federal regulations to protect nesting shorebirds and other wildlife. Saving the Beaches Equals Protecting our Plovers!

Equally as important as following pet ordinances, please give the birds lots and lots of space. Enjoy that they are here, take a few photos from a distance, and then move on and allow them to do their thing. At this time of year, they are fortifying after the long migration and resting up so they can begin courting, mating, and become excellent parents to their highly energetic and rambunctious chicks.

Please help spread the word about Cape Ann Plovers. If you see a Piping Plover at one of our beautiful Cape Ann beaches, please email me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com, leave a comment in the comment section, or let one of our other Ambassadors know.

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, which also provides several reasons as to why its so important that pets are off the beach by April first, please go here: The Piping Plover Project

If you would like to join our Piping Plover Ambassador program, please email Kim Smith at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com or leave a comment and I will get back to you.

xxKim

Thank you for Giving a Peep About Plovers!!

 

THEY’RE BACK! CAPE ANN PIPING PLOVER UPDATE AND A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO MAYOR VERGA, MARK COLE AND THE GLOUCESTER DPW, AND ROCKPORT RESIDENT ERIC HUTCHINS!!

Dear PiPl Friends,

Yesterday I had planned and written this post to be about the Good Harbor Beach and Cape Hedge Plover signs and symbolically roped off area installations but the grand news is that our first pair of PiPls arrived overnight!!

They are worn out from the long migration. The pair spent the morning sheltering behind mini hummocks, out of the way of the cold biting wind, and warming in the morning sun. If you see them on the beach please give them lots and lots of space. They are travel-weary and need to rest up. Thank you!

Thank you to Good Harbor Beach daily walkers and super Plover friends Pat and Dolores, and to my husband Tom, for being the first to spot the 2023 GHB Plovers!

We’d like to thank Mark Cole and the DPW Crew for installing the symbolically roped off areas ahead of  April 1st. And for also reinstalling the pet rules sign at the footbridge. We are so appreciative of their kind assistance.

We’d also like to thank Plover Ambassador Eric Hutchins, who made the barrels to hold signs and installed all yesterday at Cape Hedge Beach. The barrels were Eric’s idea and I think it’s a fantastic solution for the deeply poppled beach scape.

If you would like to join our Piping Plover Ambassador Team, please email me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com or leave a comment in the comment section and I will get back to you. Thank you!

CAPE ANN PIPING PLOVER UPDATE!

Dear PiPl Friends,

Very Happy News to share – yesterday at GHB I spotted a little smattering of PiPl tracks. I could not locate any Plovers, but the beach has been very busy with dogs and they may just be lying low. Their arrival is right on schedule. The past several years the first sightings have been on the 25th and 26th.

Piping Plover tracks, Good Harbor Beach, March 27, 2023

If anyone is concerned as to why the dog regulations are not yet posted at the footbridge, it is because the old sign and posts were damaged during a winter storm. The DPW is building a new one, the second coat of paint is going on tomorrow, and signs should be posted by the 30th. Keeping our fingers crossed that they do go up before the 31st! The symbolically roped off areas have not yet been installed. Last year this was done prior to April 1st, so we are very much hoping that this job is on DPW’s  agenda for this week as well.

Signage really helps more than many people fully understand. Yesterday was an on-leash day however, there are currently no signs at the footbridge end. At this time of year, the footbridge side of GHB is the main access point to the beach as the parking lot is still closed. I only ever take Charlotte to the beach on on-leash days because although dogs off-leash are supposed to be under voice command, that is simply not the case at any public space in Gloucester where dogs are allowed off-leash. In the forty-five minute time frame that Charlotte and I were there, 14 dogs were on the beach, two on-leash, the other 12 were not on-leash. I thought we were safe as we were up by the dunes looking for tracks while all the dogs were down by the water’s edge. We did not hear the German Shepherd approaching. The dog knocked Charlotte over and left her in hysterics. The owners did nothing to control their dog as it came back around a second time, only shouting that their dog was “friendly.” We walked back to the car through the parking lot as it was the least threatening choice. Charlotte is not prone to hysterics but when you are only three and a half feet tall and an animal twice your size knocks you down, well it just made us both feel terrible. Me, because I let it happen and her because she was so frightened. I don’t want my granddaughter to grow up feeling so terribly afraid of large dogs.

Back to good news – On Boston’s North Shore, Plovers have been spotted at Crane, Plum Island, and Winthrop Beaches. Our Cape Ann Plover Ambassadors are ready for a super summer of Plover monitoring. Rockport has a new conservation agent, John Lopez who, coincidentally, did his thesis on how off road vehicles impact Plovers. Gloucester City Councilors Scott Memhard and Jeff Worthley have been working with the ambassadors this winter on creating Plover awareness and also working with the Clean the Creek grassroots organization to get to the bottom of the Creek contamination. We have many new Ambassadors and are looking forward to meeting them all at our first informational meeting, which will take place when the Plovers are more settled in. If you would like to be a Piping Plover Ambassador this summer, please contact me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com or leave a comment in the comment section. We would love to have you!

Warmest wishes,

xxKim

PIPING PLOVER SPOTTED AT WEST DENNIS!

Hello PiPl Friends!

Cheery news to share from PiPl Ambassador Deb- Friday, March 3rd, a Piping Plover was spotted at beautiful West Dennis Beach, on Cape Cod! It won’t be long 🙂

Thank you so very much to Jonathan and Sally for hosting the PiPl meeting and for organizing and compiling the notes. There’s a great deal to tackle here, but we’ll work away at the list. And many thanks to Jeff for sending the beach regulations, which are also attached. Additionally, Jayne Knot sent along the data from the contaminated Creek reports – very interesting read. I’ve been in touch with Rory McCarthy, who is heading up the Clean the Creek initiative and hope to speak with her this week to see how we can help. She shares lots of great information on her Instagram page at clean_the_creek.

Happy Monday!
Warmest wishes,
Kim

PiPls in a windy March snowstorm several years ago

PIPING PLOVER FAQS FROM THE PIPING PLOVER PROJECT

Thank you Friends for writing in some of your most frequently asked questions. I’ve added the questions to the new website, The Piping Plover Project.

Piping Plover Frequently Asked Question

We’re glad you stopped by to learn more about Piping Plovers! The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about nesting Plovers. If you don’t find an answer to your question here, please write in the comments and let us know. The question you have, others may have as well. Thank you!

Do Plovers really start walking as soon as they hatch?

Yes! Plovers are precocial birds. That is a term biologists use to describe a baby bird’s stage of development at birth. Unlike songbirds, which generally hatch helpless, naked, and blind, Plovers hatch with downy soft feathers and are fully mobile. They can run, peck, and are learning to forage within a few hours after hatching. The one thing they can’t do is regulate their body temperature. Plover chicks feed in short intervals, then run to snuggle beneath Mom or Dad’s warm underwings.

Do they have predators? What is their greatest threat?

Plover chicks are vulnerable to a great number of predators including Herring Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, American Crows, Peregrine Falcons, Eastern Coyotes, Red Foxes, and Gray Foxes. The greatest threat to Plovers is when dogs are allowed to run freely through the nesting area, which causes the adults to chase the dogs, which leaves the eggs and chicks vulnerable to avian predators. The second greatest threat to Plovers is the garbage left behind by beachgoers, which attracts crows and gulls, both of which eat chicks and eggs.

How many generally survive?

On average, only 1.3 chicks survive per nesting pair. Most chicks are lost within the first two days.

How long does it take a Plover chick to learn to fly?

By the time a Plover is about 25 days old, it can take very brief test flights. At about 35 days, or five weeks, a Plover is considered fully fledged.

Where do they migrate to when they leave their northern breeding grounds?

We know from Plover banding programs conducted at the University of Rhode Island that the majority of Massachusetts Piping Plovers fly  non-stop to the outer banks of North Carolina. Here they will stage for about a month. After fattening up for the next leg of their journey, many Plovers from the north Atlantic region migrate to the Bahamas, Bermuda, and the Turks and Caicos.

During this staging period, Plovers also undergo a molt, where they lose their old tired feathers and grow new fresh feathers.

Just as Piping Plovers are site faithful to their breeding grounds, so too are they are site faithful to their winter homes.

Do they come back to the same nest site every year?

Remarkably, many mated pairs do return to the very same nesting site. Piping Plovers show tremendous fidelity to each other and to their nesting site.  Even though they may winter-over in different locations, Piping Plover pairs may return to their breeding grounds within days of each other, and sometimes on the very same day. The chicks will  most likely not return to the precise location of their birth, but may return to the same region.

Why are the areas on the beach roped off .

Plovers need a safe haven from dogs and people when they are nesting, especially on busy beach days. Even after the nestlings have hatched and are running on the beach, the Plovers know that it is generally safe from disturbance within the symbolically protected area. The roped off areas also allows beach vegetation to regrow, which provides shelter and food for the chicks and adults. The new growth helps fortify the dunes against future storm damage and rising sea level.

Why don’t Plovers nest in the dunes.

Plovers generally do not nest in the dunes, but in the sand, precisely where beachgoers enjoy sitting. Plovers evolved to nest in sand. For one reason in particular, their eggs are very well camouflaged in sand, so well camouflaged in fact that is is easy for people and pets to accidentally step on them. Prior to the mid-1900s, beaches were not as widely used as the recreational areas they have become today. There was far less interaction with humans. Nesting in dunes poses an even less safe set of challenges, including predation of their eggs by mammals and rodents.

What’s the story with the local organization that is advocating to harm, eat, and/or kill Piping Plovers?

Piping Plovers are listed as a federal and state protected endangered and threatened bird species. Threatened species are afforded the same exact protections as are endangered species. It is illegal to eat, kill, harm, or harass Plovers in any way, and punishable by fines in the tens of thousands of dollars. If humans intentionally create an untenable situation for nesting birds, a beach may become closed for the season

Plovers are very small, only slightly larger than a sparrow, with unfortunately, a history of harassment that in some cases, has led to death. It’s amazing that such a tender tiny bird can elicit the worst behavior in some humans while also evoking the best in people who recognize their vulnerability.

Fortunately for the Plovers, conservation groups, volunteers, and an ever increasingly aware beach-going population of educated and kind hearted citizens are working toward helping folks better understand that by sharing the shore, we not only allow for our own enjoyment by keeping the beach open to the public, we are protecting and promoting the continuation of a species.

Can’t we just capture the Plovers and take them to a less trafficked beach, or build the birds a nest in a tree?

Plovers do not nest in trees. If the Plovers were removed from the beach, they would very likely return. Plovers will rebuild a nest up to five time during a single season. With continual disturbance to the birds, the end result would be no eggs and no chicks. The purpose of the Endangered Species Act and shorebird conservation programs is to rebuild the population to return the Plovers to safe numbers where we know the species will survive.

Do volunteers come every day?

Yes, PiPl Ambassadors are on the beach everyday, seven days a week, from sunrise until sunset. If you would like to be a Piping Plover volunteers, please contact Kim Smith at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com or leave a comment.

 

 

Piping Plovers arriving soon :)

Dear PiPl Friends,

Looking out the window at snow covered scapes, it’s hard to imagine that in just about a month little feathered friends will be arriving at our local beaches. For the past several years our original Piping Plover pair at #3 have arrived on March 25th. It’s very possible they may have flown directly from their wintering sites, hundreds of miles, if not over a thousand (we know this from banding programs at URI). The pair are usually weary and in need of quiet rest, at least for the first several days… then comes the business of courting and establishing a nest. I am so hopeful our handicapped Mom will be returning for a second summer after losing her foot. It’s unlikely we will see HipHop, not because he wasn’t strong enough to return, but because offspring don’t usually return to their exact birth location. We may see HipHop though at area beaches.

As usual, we will be providing Plover updates in emails, on our new website, Facebook, and Instagram. We are so appreciative of the Gloucester Daily Times’s Andrea Holbrook and Ethan Forman for their recent article highlighting the upcoming Plover season and helping to get the word out about our Ambassador program!

Welcome to our new friends and possible volunteers, George, Meah, Susan, Leslie, and Terry! Thank you so much for offering to volunteer and/or support us in other ways through getting the word out about our Ambassador program.

At our recent Plover organizational meeting, hosted by Jonathan and Sally, we decided our areas of focus are: Safety, Education, Volunteers, and City Support (thank you for organizing the topics Sally!) Jonathan added April/May strategies, which as we seasoned volunteers know, poses a different set of challenges. City Councilor Jeff Worthley was in attendance, and it was a huge help to have someone who can provide insights into what can be accomplished through working with the City. Jeff shared that in the 90s he worked at Good Harbor Beach for five summers and he was also the chairperson of Beach Parking and Traffic Committee that brought us the advance ticket reservation system, so he also has great historical perspective on the ongoing issues at GHB.

The Creek is still closed due to storm/sewage runoff and it appears the City is no closer to determining the exact source. The fecal matter levels are 14,000 times what is acceptable. This may not seem like a Plover matter (so far, it does not appear to affect their well-being) but it often falls upon the Ambassadors to let people know how unsafe it is to swim there. The high levels are frequently reported on in the GDTimes, but if the City posted the actual levels on the signs at the beach, people might not be so quick to dismiss the warnings. We also discussed that it is probably not safe for swimmers at the mouth of the Creek either as a bunch of surfers that were recently surfing there are reportedly ill. We’d like to thank Councilors Scott Memhard and Jeff Worthley for addressing the contamination at the Creek issue, including walking the beach to let people know, and ensuring the warning signs are in place.

Here is a link to our new website – The Piping Plover Project. Many thanks to PiPl Ambassadors Paula and Alexa for sending along their most frequently asked questions, it was super helpful in putting the list together (link to FAQs). Please let me know if you have any FAQs you would like added to the list.

Happy Sunday and warmest wishes,
Kim

1033 PAIRS OF PLOVERS WITH 1,330 CHICKS FLEDGED!!!

We have received outstanding news from our Massachusetts Coastal Waterbird Biologist, Carolyn Mostello. She shared the “Summary of the 2022 Massachusetts Piping Plover Census.” The grand total for Massachusetts breeding pairs of Plovers is a whopping 1033, up 6.8 percent relative to 2021. A total of 1,330 chicks was reported fledged for an overall productivity of 1.31 fledglings per pair.

The summary is prepared each year by the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, a division of Mass Wildlife. The Summary is in pdf form and I am happy to email anyone the report if you are interested. Please leave a comment in the comment section and your email will pop up on my end. Thank you for your interest!

The following are some highlights from the Summary –

ABSTRACT

This report summarizes data on abundance, distribution, and reproductive success of Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus) in Massachusetts during the 2022 breeding season. Observers reported breeding pairs of Piping Plovers present at 209 sites; 150 additional sites were surveyed at least once, but no breeding pairs were detected at them. The population increased 6.8% relative to 2021. The Index Count (statewide census conducted 1-9 June) was 1,013 pairs, and the Adjusted Total Count (estimated total number of breeding pairs statewide for the entire 2022 breeding season) was 1,033 pairs. A total of 1,330 chicks was reported fledged in 2022, for an overall productivity of 1.31 fledglings per pair, based on data from 98.6% of pairs.

INTRODUCTION

Piping Plovers are small, sand-colored shorebirds that nest on sandy beaches and dunes along the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to Newfoundland. The U.S. Atlantic Coast population of Piping Plovers has been federally listed as Threatened, pursuant to the U.S. Endangered Species Act, since 1986. The species is also listed as Threatened by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife pursuant to the Massachusetts’ Endangered Species Act.

Population monitoring is an integral part of recovery efforts for Atlantic Coast Piping Plovers (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1996, Hecht and Melvin 2009a, b). It allows wildlife managers to identify limiting factors, assess effects of management actions and regulatory protection, and track progress toward recovery. In this report, we summarize data on abundance, distribution, and reproductive success of Piping Plovers breeding in Massachusetts in 2022, as observed and reported by a coast-wide network of cooperators.

METHODS

Monitoring and management of Piping Plovers and other coastal waterbirds in Massachusetts is carried out by wildlife biologists, seasonal shorebird monitors, beach managers, researchers, and volunteers affiliated with over 20 federal and state agencies, local municipalities, local and regional land trusts, private conservation organizations, and universities. Cooperators monitored 359 sites in Massachusetts in 2022 for the presence of breeding Piping Plovers.

 *     *     *

Long term trends in breeding Piping Plover population size and productivity are shown in Figure 5. The five-year running average of productivity has declined overall since 1995; however, there is a noticeable increase since reaching a low point in 2013. Since 2018, the five-year average of productivity has been above the approximately 1.2 fledglings per pair thought to be necessary to maintain a stable population (Melvin & Gibbs 1996) 2, and the breeding population has increased dramatically over that period. In fact, since state-wide monitoring began, this is the first year where the estimated number of territorial pairs has exceeded 1,000 in the state of Massachusetts, far exceeding the goal of 625 pairs throughout New England identified in the Piping Plover Atlantic Coast Population Recovery Plan. Although the New England Piping Plover population has exceeded the population recovery goal, that is not the case for other regions along the Atlantic Coast.

 

CHECK OUT TODAY’S GLOUCESTER TIMES “TALK OF THE TIMES!” Ambassadors sought to watch over Plover chicks

GLOUCESTER DAILY TIMES

TALK OF THE TIMES/ All Hands

Saturday, February 18, 2022

A Gloucester group is seeking volunteers to help look after the piping plovers when they nest at Good Harbor Beach, and setting up a website, pipingploverproject.org, offering information on the birds.

“We have received a number of inquiries regarding the upcoming plover season,” said Gloucester resident and Piping Plover Ambassador Kim Smith of the website. “And we wanted to have a page ready where people could find sign up information.”

“I envision this site as a place where we can not only get information, updates, and stories about our Cape Ann plover families, but to also learn more about plovers in general, other shorebirds, habitat conservation, and how climate change is impacting all,” said Smith in an email.

READ THE FULL “TALK’ HERE!

 

SEEING MORE HEARTS