Good Morning Papa Plover!

Over the past several weeks, five Piping Plovers battling over nesting turf have been observed at Good Harbor Beach, from the creek end of the beach, all the way to the entrance by the Good Harbor Beach Inn. In the past three days, there hasn’t been activity in the roped off area nearer the GHB Inn. It appears only one pair has decided to call GHB their home for the summer and they seem to be zeroing in on the cordoned off area by boardwalk #3, same as last year.

Unfortunately, the “Party Rock,” the large exposed rock up by the wrack line, is this year not in the roped off area; the roping comes just short of enclosing the “Rock.” The past few evenings, even before the heat wave, folks have been setting up their hibachis, behind the rock, abutting the restricted area. This morning there were a group of six sleeping next to the rock. Needless to say, our Plover pair was super stressed. Early morning is when they typically mate and lay eggs, and neither are happening under duress.

Papa wants to mate with Mama, but she is too stressed.

Here are just a few things we can do to help the Plovers. Please write and let us know your ideas and suggestions, they are so very much appreciated. It would be terrific to put together all the suggestions to present to Mayor Sefatia and Chirs. Thank you!

  1. Post a No Dog sign at the footbridge. I think this is critically important.
  2. Post signs at entrances to the beach to help educate folks about the Piping Plovers, why respecting the restricted area is so important, and why removing trash is equally as vital to the survival of the plovers.
  3. Additionally, I would love to make a brochure about the Piping Plover life cycle that we could hand out to visitors at the parking entrance. Though when I suggested that idea to a friend, he thought the brochures may end up littering the beach. What do you think?
  4. Fix the fencing around the dunes. As it stands now, the rusty old fencing is nearly buried in the sand and actually dangerously invites tripping. If the fences were mended and signs posted about the fragility of the dunes, folks would stop cutting through the dunes to go to and from the parking lot. Right now, they are walking through the restricted area to access the dune trail. Visitors may also want to know that the grass and shrubby growth on that trail is teeming with ticks, another reason to keep off the dunes.
  5. If folks are setting up a cookout or planning a sleepover next to the nesting area (especially near the party rock), gently explain why it would be best to move further down the beach, away from the restricted area.

Mama Plover fishing for worms

I would be happy to meet anyone at Good Harbor Beach to show exactly what are the issues. Dave Rimmer from Essex Greenbelt mentioned that in other communities where Piping Plovers have nested on very busy beaches, a network of Piping Plover babysitters was established to help the chicks survive on the busiest of beach days. If we are so fortunate as to have chicks, I would love to get together a group of “Piping Plover Babysitters.”Good Harbor Beach sunrise


  • Excellent post. This is a federally protected species. It’s time to get the US Fish & Wildlife Service involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I am interested in helping the plover and would be willing to meet.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Great post, Kim! I would think protecting Good Harbor Beach and the wildlife there (I💓PLOVERS!) would be a top priority for the city. How are dogs still on the beaches??! A large “NO DOGS ALLOWED -$100 FINE” sign at EVERY entrance would really help. And I am always amazed at the people roaming around the dunes because of the inadequate fencing (it is a tick haven, people!!). Is there not a GHB or beaches committee? If costs are an issue, it is easy to set up a donation site or crowd sourcing account and I would happily donate, and I am sure others would as well.

    Thanks so much, Kim, for all you do! Cape Ann is lucky to have someone who cares so much!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • BBQ grills on beach is a not allowed per City Regs. Should have called the GPD and reported which would help clear the violators of the beach. Also I’m pretty sure overnight camping is not allowed.
    “No fires of any type are allowed at any parks, playgrounds, ballfields, or beaches except barbecue fires conducted at designated locations within Stage Fort Park. All coals must be completely extinguished and deposited in designated containers.”

    Liked by 1 person

  • Thanks for caring and pointing this out.Maybe keep the big parking lot closed this time of year until the summer season officially starts. There are no bathroom facilities for the beachgoers to use so into the dunes they go.There were hundreds of cars-a fully packed beach-yesterday.This is the new normal for May with our warmer weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Needed information and post!

    Listing Status: Endangered and Threatened
    General Information
    Size: 18 cm (7.25 in) in length. Color: Breeding season: Pale brown above, lighter below; black band across forehead; bill orange with black tip; legs orange; white rump. Male: Complete or incomplete black band encircles the body at the breast. Female: Paler head band; incomplete breast band. Winter coloration: Bill black; all birds lack breast band and head band. (USFWS link)

    Liked by 1 person

  • Everyone’s points and suggestions are well taken. I think we can include all this in the suggestions given to the Mayor’s office. Thank you so much for writing!


  • Such pretty birds. Thanks for educating the Public, Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

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