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Piping Plover Photo: Mark Peck

What springtime bird sighting excites you the most? Those passionate about Piping Plovers are celebrating their arrival at Canada’s beaches and shorelines. If you are a fan of these Endangered shorebirds, now is a good time to get involved in volunteering for the nesting season.
“Ontario’s Piping Plovers overwinter in Florida and neighboring states,” explains Andrea Gress, our Piping Plover Conservation Program Coordinator for Ontario. “This winter, eight of Ontario’s adults were observed, representing half of the 2018 breeding population. Six fledglings were also confirmed in the wintering grounds! These birds are usually observed in National and State Parks, speaking for the importance of habitat conservation. We are expecting high return rates this breeding season due to last year’s success.”
Plovers that nest in Atlantic Canada are also making their return. Nova Scotia’s first Piping Plover of the season was spotted on April 4th.
 
 
Volunteer with plovers in Ontario, New Brunswick, or Nova Scotia
Plover conservation teams are gearing up for the 2019 nesting season. Volunteers are needed on Ontario beaches from May to August. Responsibilities include monitoring plovers, collecting plover data, and inspiring beachgoers to have a positive experience sharing the beach with this fascinating species. Does this sound like a good fit for you? Please see the volunteer position description for more details.
In Atlantic Canada, we recently said goodbye to Sue Abbott, who has moved on to a new role after 13 years at Bird Studies Canada. Sue did an amazing job coordinating Piping Plover conservation efforts during her time with us, and will be sorely missed! We invite you to join us in wishing her well, and in giving a warm welcome to our new Nova Scotia Program Coordinator, Laura Bartlett. If you are interesting in volunteering for the NB and NS Piping Plover Conservation Program, please visit the program page and read the 2018 newsletter (“Beach Bird”) to learn more. Then, contact Laura at lbartlett@birdscanada.org.
 


Volunteer Jocelyne LeBlanc at Pomquet Beach in N.S.
Photo: Jocelyne LeBlanc

Thank you for helping Piping Plovers in 2018
With the help of our supporters, Bird Studies Canada works with partners, volunteers, landowners, and beachgoers to conserve this endangered species in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Thank you to all of you for playing an important role in this species’ recovery. Plover pairs and their young faced challenges in 2018, but thanks to you, many of them made it through the season successfully. Learn more in our 2018 summary.
 
A plover champion making a splash
We were delighted to see a plover volunteer recently featured in the news! Last summer, Islay Graham volunteered with Plover Lovers, one of our plover conservation partners, as a Piping Plover monitor at Sauble Beach, ON. She also collected data for a research project, which was awarded the Gold Medal at her regional science fair. We wish Islay our congratulations, and good luck at the Canada Wide Science Fair in May! Her efforts and those of all Piping Plover volunteers are helping to protect and raise awareness about this remarkable species at risk.

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