Two Perfect Piping Plover Eggs!


After last week’s harrowingly warm weather, we lost all sight of the Piping Plover pair trying to establish a nest by the boardwalk #3 location. Thursday and Friday brought record temperatures of over 90 degrees, drawing unseasonably large crowds and literally, a ton of garbage, which was not only beyond disgusting, but in turn, attracted a plethora of seagulls and crows. Saturday, there was absolutely no sign of the Plovers, from one of end of Good Harbor to the other. Sunday, my husband Tom discovered a few tracks and Monday, I found a few as well, but nothing like we had seen earlier.

Thinking our Plover Pair were lost to us, lo and behold Tuesday morning I spied Papa Plover sitting in one location, for a very long time (half an hour is a long time for a plover to sit in one spot). Could there be an egg beneath Papa? Unfortunately, where Papa was sitting was on the edge of the roped off area, next to the party rock, with dog tracks only several inches away.

Dog tracks running through the roped off area and next to the Piping Plover nesting site.

I quickly called Dave Rimmer, director of land stewardship for Essex County Greenbelt. He came by immediately and confirmed yes, we have a nest!!!

An exclosure has been installed and the plover parents are adapting well to the protective wire frame.

The roping has been rearranged with the nest now in the center.


  • While I am very happy to see the plovers are so far doing well, I am very concerned that drawing so much attention to them might endanger them even further. Even well meaning humans can unintentionally cause harm, and some humans are not well meaning at all.


  • “In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.” (Baba Dioum, 1968.)

    Ignorance is never bliss, especially when the lives of small creatures are at risk. It is the responsibility of well-meaning people to learn how they can help the Plovers, not ignore or dismiss the dangers that garbage and our four legged friends pose to the Plovers, or to any threatened or endangered species. Without the informative attention being drawn to the threatened plovers in communities around the nation, the Piping and Snowy Plovers would not be recovering as they are now.

    If for example Dave Rimmer had not been alerted to the nesting site, the eggs could easily have been squished by a dog, eaten by a fox, or accidentally stepped on by a person. The exclosure makes it possible for the PiPlovers to live on a highly trafficked beach and it is important for our community to understand why and for what purpose.

    There is so much more we can learn. I am proud of my community for taking an active interest in the Plovers and for trying to help them successfully nest and fledge the chicks. Lots more information and photos to come!


  • Sad but needed to fenced in! “Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself — and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.” – Chief Joseph Nez Perce


  • They are not actually fenced in. The net contraption is called an exclosure. The key part is ex–it excludes larger birds and mammals. The plovers can run freely in an out between the wires, but the fox, coyotes, people, dogs, owls, crows, and gulls.


  • Understand! Dave 🙂


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