Ed Golson Outdoor Education

Piping Plover

Scientific Name: Charadrius melodus

Description: The piping plover is a smallish shorebird. It usually grows to about 7 inches long and has a wingspan of about 15 inches. They have a white underside and light-tan feathers on their back. During the winter the birds migrate down to the Gulf coast. 

Habitat: The piping plover is found mainly along the Atlantic coast and in the northern Great Plains region. There are also a few found in northern Michigan and parts of Wisconsin. They usually build their nests on beaches or on sand dunes that don't have much plant growth.  

Feeding: These birds eat all sorts of small invertebrates : insects, marine worms, mollusks like clams, and small crustaceans.  

Why are they endangered ? The piping plover always nests along beaches and shorelines. These shorelines also happen to be very popular among humans. The more we disturb and build along the plover's habitat , the fewer areas the plover to live in.

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