Our yearly visitors are back – you might have seen or heard them on the beach, especially in the morning. These aren’t our annual visitors from all over the country and from other countries as well. I’m talking about our piping plovers, those tiny birds that nest on our beach.
I have a feeling that some here resent these little birds. I’m not sure why. Perhaps they feel that these little birds are a reason why we cannot use the entire beach all the time. You might have noticed that Audubon has already strung off high tide areas especially in the natural beach area, but look at all the beach that you can use.
Maybe people dislike these little birds because they are, well, small. Do people resent the bald eagles that winter here in our river wetlands?
But the plovers are here and why not enjoy them and their tiny chicks?
They may be with us through some of the summer months; then they fly south, though their chicks may stay into late August or even early September.
Walk the beach. Listen for a bird song that’s a bit different; that sounds like, well, piping.
Then see if you can find this small white and gray bird. Piping plovers seem to blend into the beach so well, that they can be nearly underfoot before you notice them.
Many of our human visitors enjoy these little birds – I remember once when we were trying to count plovers for Audubon, we were close to a nest and Canadian visitors sitting nearby warned us not to get too close. These plovers had friends.
We are fortunate that we are entrusted with their safety – they are an endangered species and federally and state protected. Let’s enjoy them!