Lori loves going to the beaches in Nova Scotia. One of her favorite things to do is watch the shorebirds, sandpipers, plovers, gulls, sanderlings, gannets, cormorants, willets, not to forget the variety of ducks! The Piping Plover is Lori’s favorite because it is so darn cute! It is almost comical as its little orange legs seem to go super-fast as it skitters in and out of the water’s edge with quick starts and stops. If you are lucky, you can occasionally hear its high-pitched peep!
The Piping Plover is a small, migratory shorebird. Its head and back are the colour of sand, providing excellent camouflage as it forages for insects and small crustaceans along the water’s edge and in small beach pools. It has a white rump, partially black tail, a black band above its white forehead, and a single black belt or breast band. Its bright orange legs match its orange, black-tipped bill. Adults weigh from 43 to 64g and stand about 12cm tall. Both parents participate in incubating eggs and caring for nestlings, although the chicks can leave the nest and forage for food within just a few hours of hatching.
The Piping Plover lays its eggs on open, pebbly beaches, making them vulnerable to predators. The most serious threat is human beings; development and activity has reduced the number of nesting sites, contributing to the species' decline.
There are many committed people, communities, universities, government agencies, and wildlife organizations doing great work in an effort to protect endangered shore birds. Projects include: incubating abandoned eggs, protecting nesting areas by establishing conservation areas, building enclosures around nesting sites to keep ground predators and birds of prey away from nests and, tracking plover nesting success and migration patterns by catching and banding, and releasing recently hatched chicks. The more breeding pairs of Piping Plovers, the better the outlook for the future of the species.
Reversed enameling in fused glass
Approx. 9 inch plate, 2 inches deep