Piping Plover Shorebirds Nest in the Beaches and Sand Dunes of Lake Michigan
If you've ever walked along the shores of Lake Michigan and found yourself smiling at the antics of the Piping Plover, you're not alone. These birds scamper across the sand at the edge of the surf, and just as quickly flutter away. To many, they are a sign of summer in the same way that a seagull perched on a piling may be.
Current efforts to protect their nesting areas have made a difference and their numbers are increasing. Nesting pair numbers are currently around five dozen in the Great Lakes region, but that number fluctuates. An aggressive campaign to build cages around their nesting sites and rope the areas off to alert humans has greatly helped the Piping Plover population.
If you're lucky enough to spot these playful plovers, enjoy their antics, but try to keep a respectful distance. For photography enthusiasts,a long lens and patience can go a long way. With a little education, these beautiful birds just may be here for years to come.
Article and photography by Craig Sterken Photography