As if breaking the record number of pairs (still currently at 73 pairs for 2015) wasn’t enough for this season, the other big story is that the historical range (at least the edges of it) has been represented this year for the first time in decades.
We had birds nesting in the Chicago area (our most southern site) all the way north to the shores of Lake Superior. We also had birds nesting in Toronto and New York on Lake Ontario. And though there was never a nest found, some GLPIPL were also observed in Duluth, Minnesota.
The high water levels and spring weather were definitely obstacles this year in regards to nesting habitat. This may have led to the birds revisiting old nesting sites. We do not have any specific explanation as to why the plovers spread out as much as they did though. It will be interesting to see what the birds do next year and where they breed. As people we can help the plovers overall as well create conducive nesting areas by giving the birds lots of space, keeping our dogs leashed, and other easy acts to be respectful of the wildlife on the beach in general.