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Miami Tours | Piping Plover | Everglades Tours

Piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) are small shorebirds approximately seven inches
long with sand-colored plumage on their backs and crown and white underparts. Breeding

birds have a single black breast band, a black bar across the forehead, bright orange legs and
bill, and a black tip on the bill. During winter, the birds lose the black bands, the legs fade to
pale yellow, and the bill becomes mostly black.

long with sand-colored plumage on their backs and crown and white underparts. Breeding
birds have a single black breast band, a black bar across the forehead, bright orange legs and
bill, and a black tip on the bill. During winter, the birds lose the black bands, the legs fade to
pale yellow, and the bill becomes mostly black.

Piping plovers breed only in North America in three geographic regions: theAtlantic Coast, the
Northern Great Plains, and the Great Lakes. Atlantic Coast plovers nest on coastal beaches, sand flats
at the ends of sand spits and barrier islands, gently sloped foredunes, sparsely vegetated dunes, and wash over
areas cut into or between dunes. Plovers in the Great Plains make their nests on open, sparsely vegetated sand
or gravel beaches adjacent to alkali wetlands, and on beaches, sandbars, and dredged material islands of major
river systems. Great Lakes piping plovers breed on sparsely vegetated beaches, cobble pans, or sand spits of sand
dune ecosystems along the Great Lakes shorelines. Piping plovers from all three breeding populations winter along
South Atlantic, Gulf Coast, and Caribbean beaches and barrier islands, primarily on intertidal beaches with sand
and/or mud flats with no or very sparse vegetation.

Piping plover populations were federally listed as threatened and endangered in 1986. The Northern Great Plains
and Atlantic Coast populations are threatened, and the Great Lakes population is endangered. Piping plovers are
considered threatened throughout their wintering range. According to the last breeding census, in 1996, the Northern
Great Plains population is the largest of the three breeding populations, numbering approximately 1398 breeding pairs.
The Atlantic Coast population consists of 1372 breeding pairs, and the Great Lakes population was only 32 breeding
pairs. The highest concentration of birds reported in winter censuses is found in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. However,
only 63 percent of the breeding birds counted in 1991 were reported during the winter census, suggesting that important
wintering areas are still unknown.

Piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) are small shorebirds approximately seven inches long with sand-colored plumage on
their backs and crown and white underparts. Breeding birds have a single black breast band, a black bar across the forehead,
bright orange legs and bill, and a black tip on the bill. During winter, the birds lose the black bands, the legs fade to pale yellow,
and the bill becomes mostly black.

Piping plovers breed only in North America in three geographic regions: theAtlantic Coast, the Northern Great Plains, and the
Great Lakes. Atlantic Coast plovers nest on coastal beaches, sand flats at the ends of sand spits and barrier islands, gently sloped
foredunes, sparsely vegetated dunes, and washover areas cut into or between dunes. Plovers in the Great Plains make their nests
on open, sparsely vegetated sand or gravel beaches adjacent to alkali wetlands, and on beaches, sandbars, and dredged material
islands of major river systems. Great Lakes piping plovers breed on sparsely vegetated beaches, cobble pans, or sand spits of sand
dune ecosystems along the Great Lakes shorelines. Piping plovers from all three breeding populations winter along South Atlantic,
Gulf Coast, and Caribbean beaches and barrier islands, primarily on intertidal beaches with sand and/or mud flats with no or very
sparse vegetation.

Piping plover populations were federally listed as threatened and endangered in 1986. The Northern Great Plains and Atlantic Coast
populations are threatened, and the Great Lakes population is endangered. Piping plovers are considered threatened throughout their
wintering range. According to the last breeding census, in 1996, the Northern Great Plains population is the largest of the three breeding
populations, numbering approximately 1398 breeding pairs. The Atlantic Coast population consists of 1372 breeding pairs, and the Great
Lakes population was has only 32 breeding pairs. The highest concentration of birds reported in winter censuses is found in Texas,
Louisiana, and Florida. However, only 63 percent of the breeding birds counted in 1991 were reported during the winter census,
suggesting that important wintering areas are still unknown.