Kirsten Dyer

Plover Lover Volunteers spot a wintering GL PIPL in Georgia

Cheryl Ferguson Global News, Local News, Plover Lovers Committee

A very special thank you to Volunteer Plover Lovers Kirsten & Grace who spotted a very interesting Piping Plover (X,L:Of,OO) in her wintering habitat on St Simons Island, Georgia. The bands are identified as (X,L:Of,OO) which means that the top part of the left leg had a metal band, bottom part had a black band. The top part of the right leg had an orange flag (Great Lakes) and the bottom part of the leg had 2 orange bands.

Kirsten & Grace were delighted to see six PIPL’s but saw only one with leg bands (Photo). There were at least 100 Semipalmated Plovers feeding along the nutrient rich muddy sections of the beach. They would have loved to have had a high power scope to get a better view of these shorebirds.

Through an earlier post by RH (Rolling Harbour Abaco) via Audubon’s Matt Jeffery we have access to a list of various people who are tracking these birds. We contacted Alice Van Zoeren at UMN (Great Lakes Piping Plover Band Reporting). Thank you, Alice for sharing the following information of the PIPL that Grace & Kirsten located:

“This female has an interesting history! She hatched in 2013 at Tawas, MI. In 2014 she laid two eggs very late in the summer at Silver Lake State Park, but she and her mate abandoned them to migrate south. In 2015 she “nested” on North Manitou Island in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. She and her mate didn’t produce any eggs, but were very attached to a small rock in their scrape which they both defended and incubated for many weeks. I was able to trap and re-band both of them on their scrape. I’ll attach a photo I took of her last summer defending her rock (which was to the right of the stick out of the frame of this photo).”

Plover Lovers, this is a census year and Piping Plovers need to be counted. We’re so hopeful that their numbers are well above the 8,000 birds that were counted in 2011.

Thank you


Photo submitted by Alice Van Zoeren – UMN.K&G-PIPL-Georgia

Compilation of sites that trace this piping plover’s activity since hatching.