H2: Basic Description
The piping plover is a small shorebird that measures around 6-7 inches in length and weighs about 1.5 ounces. It has a white underbelly and grayish-brown upperparts, with distinct black bands on its forehead, neck, and chest. This bird also has bright orange legs and a short, stubby beak.
H2: Where to Find This Bird
The piping plover can be found along the Atlantic coast of North America from Newfoundland to North Carolina. During the breeding season (March-August), they are commonly seen on sandy beaches or dunes near the shoreline.
Piping plovers prefer open areas with little vegetation such as sand flats, wide beaches or dunes for nesting purposes. They will often build shallow scrapes in the sand where they lay their eggs hidden away from predators like gulls, foxes or coyotes. Outside of breeding season they may move inland to mudflats or salt ponds.
These birds feed on insects like beetles, flies, spiders etc but their diet mainly consists of marine invertebrates such as mollusks and crustaceans found at low tide.
H2: Cool Facts
Piping plovers have been listed as threatened since 1986 due mainly because habitat disturbance by humans whether it’s development/urbanization along coasts lines which can displace them during migration period or accidental trampling by beachgoers.
Additionally these tiny birds undertake incredible migrations twice every year moving between wintering habitats in Mexico Bahamas Puerto Rico etc to breed along northern Atlantic coasts.
Finally unlike other shorebirds Piping Plover chicks leave their nests shortly after hatching so it’s important not step near nest site even if you don’t see adult bird nearby!