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Help Us Find Piping Plovers in Ontario

By Andrea Gress, Coordinator, Ontario Piping Plover Conservation Program, Bird Studies Canada


Piping Plover Photo: Christian Artuso

In recent years, endangered Piping Plovers have nested in Ontario at Wasaga Beach, Sauble Beach, Darlington Provincial Park, Presqu’ile Provincial Park, North Beach Provincial Park, and Toronto Island. As the population grows, it is likely that their nesting range will expand as well. Some future nesting sites might include Kincardine Beach, Sandbanks Provincial Park, Pinery Provincial Park, Singing Sands Beach, and Wellington Beach.

If you would like to help this wonderful species, and can identify Piping Plovers, you can assist Bird Studies Canada by conducting surveys. If you go for a walk along the beach in Ontario during April or May, let us know! If you see a Piping Plover, please tell us about it. And if you don’t see a Piping Plover, tell us about that too. It is important to identify beaches that might be suitable habitat for plovers, but that they are not visiting, in addition to beaches where plovers are present.

Please email your Piping Plover sightings to Andrea Gress at agress@birdscanada.org or call 519-586-3531, extension 128. In your message, please include:

  • The name of the beach, and a description of where it is (such as the nearest town, the county, or GPS coordinates). Include an approximation of how much time you spent on the beach, or the distance you walked.
  • The date and time you surveyed the beach.
  • Whether you saw Piping Plovers on the beach or not, and if so, and how many you saw.
  • Any additional information that you think might be useful. For example, did you notice breeding behaviour? Did you see Piping Plovers with leg bands? Are the water levels so high that the beach is nearly gone?

Please remember to be respectful of private property when surveying beaches.

If you can’t survey Ontario beaches, you can help Piping Plovers in other ways. If you live in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia, you may wish to get involved in our NB and NS Piping Plover Conservation Program. And when you give to the Friends Across the Flyway campaign, you support important efforts to conserve endangered Piping Plovers and other remarkable migratory shorebirds along the Atlantic coast of the Americas.

Thank you for contributing to Piping Plover recovery!

Bird Studies Canada gratefully acknowledges the Government of Ontario for providing support to the Ontario Piping Plover Program through the Species at Risk Stewardship Fund.

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