It’s a good year for plovers in Holgate, NJ!

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

sleepy plover Sleepy piping plover chick by Kim Caruso, submitted to Home Tweet Home by NestWatch – Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Did you know that this year marks 30 years since the piping plover was protected under the Endangered Species Act? Things didn’t look so good for this little shorebird back then. Thanks to decades of dedicated conservation efforts, the plover has more than doubled its population along the Atlantic Coast. If you’re headed to the beach this summer, find out how you can help us reach recovery!

(This story comes to us from The Sandpaper)

The overwash areas of Holgate have been very good to piping plovers this year and to other beach nesting birds, including least terns and American oystercatchers.

“If there is one thing to take away from our conversation is that Hurricane Sandy was not a bad thing for plovers,” said Paul Castelli, lead wildlife biologist…

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Piping Plovers at Good Harbor Beach – Fenced Off Area

Good Morning Gloucester

For Immediate Release from Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken

Public Works in conjunction with our local Conservation Commission, MA Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries and Mass Audubon have been following the activities of Piping Plovers on Good Harbor Beach for the past 4 weeks. The birds have shown signs of nesting activities in this area.

On a recommendation of the state we have fenced off an area approximately 200 feet by 200 feet – southwest of board walk number 3. This area starts at the base of the dunes and extends to the high tide rack or water line. This area is to be off llimits to all humans as well as any domestic pets. These birds are listed under the State and Federal Endangered Species Acts and are granted special protection.

We will continue to work with all agencies to provide the support they need to let nature take its…

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Good Morning Gloucester

Yet another bird that was nearly hunted to extinction for its beautiful feathers, as of 2012 when the most recent study was concluded, there were only 3,600 breeding Piping Plovers along the Atlantic Coast.

piping-plover-on-nestPiping Plover’s are a softy colored, mostly tan and white, pint-sized shorebird and like their nests and eggs, exquisitely camouflage with colors of sand and pebbles. This also makes them highly vulnerable to disturbances by humans; even if when people are trying to avoid their nesting sites, it is very easy to unwittingly crush eggs and chicks.

Piping Plovers have been observed on Good Harbor Beach this spring and could quite possibly nest here. The Gloucester DPW, working in conjunction with the Conservation Commission, MA Department of Wildlife, and Mass Audubon have cordoned off a roughly 200 feet by 200 feet area between the GHB bridge and boardwalk number three (the large rock that was exposed several storms ago lies within the…

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Good Morning Gloucester

Female Piping Plover Good Harbor Beach Gloucester copyright Kim SmithFor the past ten weeks, each morning very early before work I have been filming the Good Harbor Beach shorebirds and their habitat, and when not too tired from work, would go back again at the end of the day. For the most part, it has been a tremendously educational and rewarding experience, and I love Good Harbor and its wild creatures even more than when I began the Piping Plover project. We are so fortunate to have this incredibly beautiful and beloved treasure of a beach in our midst, and so easily accessed. As much as I have enjoyed filming the wildlife, it has been equally as fun to observe the myriad wonderful ways in which people enjoy the beach recreationally and that too is part of the Good Harbor Beach Piping Plover story.

Male Piping Plover Good Harbor Beach Gloucester copyright Kim Smith

Take a closer look at the shorebirds next time you are at Good Harbor Beach. Small and swift, they can look similar, but once you…

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Good Morning Gloucester

Male Piping Plover

The sweetest and tiniest of shorebirds has been spotted at several of our local beaches, including Wingaersheek and Good Harbor Beach. They have also been seen at Plum Island, as well as other Massachusetts barrier beaches, for several weeks. The Plovers have traveled many thousands of miles to reach our shores and are both weary from traveling and eager to establish nesting sites.

What can you do to help the Piping Plovers? Here are four simple things we can all do to protect the Plovers.

  1. Don’t leave behind or bury trash or food on the beach. All garbage attracts predators such as crows, seagulls, foxes, and coyotes, and all four of these creatures EAT plover eggs and chicks.
  2. Do not linger near the Piping Plovers or their nests. Activity around the Plovers also attracts gulls and crows.
  3. Respect the fenced off areas that are created to protect the Plovers.
  4. If pets are permitted, keep dogs leashed.

The last is the most…

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Good Morning Gloucester



The City of Gloucester and Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken will be working closely during the 2017 beach season at Good Harbor Beach with the Essex County Greenbelt Association and the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to manage Piping Plovers if they return again to nest on the beach.

“For generations, Gloucester’s citizens have existed in a delicate balance with our coastal ecosystem, from the open ocean, to the rocky shorelines and of course to our beaches,” Mayor Romeo Theken said. “We are committed to making every effort possible to protect nesting Piping Plovers at our beaches but we will do so while maintaining public access to these amazing areas. Please help me and the City by cooperating with any short-term restrictions imposed at our beaches in 2017.”

In 2016, Piping Plovers, a small shorebird, were…

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Grosbeaks, bluebirds focus of questions from readers arising from spring sightings

Our Fine Feathered Friends

I’m hearing from readers on a range of subjects relating to birds. Although I am still hearing from readers about their hummingbirds returning after a lengthy absence, other readers have contacted me about other birds, ranging from rose-breasted grosbeaks to “blue” birds of differing varieties.

RB-Grosbeak-BOYD Photo by Rebecca Boyd • A male rose-breasted grosbeak shells sunflower seeds with his large, heavy beak. Rose-breasted grosbeaks, especially the more colorful males, never fail to impress observers.

These shared observations reinforce my theory on birds. They have wings, and they know how to use them. There’s nothing to stop an unexpected bird from making a migration layover in your yard. Keep your eyes open, especially during the remaining weeks of May. A surprise could be winging its way toward you!
Constance Tate, who lives in Bristol, Tennessee, sent me a Facebook message on April 24. “I just saw a rose-breasted grosbeak at…

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Nesting Snowy Plovers of Los Angeles


Click HERE for a slideshow of banded Snowy Plovers, then scroll down
to the slideshow located below the photo of the banded chick.
It may take some time to load.
Use the arrows to advance and reverse.

Update as of May 20, 2017
For the first time since 1949, when they last nested in Manhattan Beach, Western Snowy Plovers have nested on Los Angeles beaches. Not just one nest or even one location, but several nests at three different locations! Needless to say, this caused great surprise, excitement, and some consternation among the volunteers and professionals who have worked with these birds for so long.

Male arriving at nest, Malibu (Larry Loeher 5-12-17)

Surprise, because it had been so long since they last nested here, there had been virtually no nesting attempts in earlier years, and no one thought there was a chance it would happen.

Excitement, because…

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