Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Effort

A partnership to study and conserve this migratory shorebird's endangered population between UMN, USFWS, USGS, NPS, DNR, more & You!

GLPIPL on the move and headed north!


Every year the recovery effort color bands Great Lakes Piping Plovers (GLPIPL). This means we put a unique combination of colored bracelets on the legs of each bird. These bands, and the process of putting them on, do not harm the birds. Numerous studies have been conducted that support this and show there is no need for concern with the bands. The bands actually reduce the number of interactions birds have with scientists in the long run. Having a unique combination allows for individuals to be identified on the beach from a far. Thus, we only need to see the bird and not capture it in order to know who a certain bird is.

The colors also help us tell which population a piping plover is from. Orange is exclusively used by the Great Lakes Recovery Effort. Thus, if you ever see a piping plover on the beach with orange bands you know it hatched in the Great Lakes region and was banded by us. The Great Plains and Atlantic populations do not have one solely exclusive color given the extensive areas covered by these groups of plovers.

Banded birds also allow us to follow them throughout their life, and even throughout the world.

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 11.14.15 AM

Piping Plover banded in 2014 in the Great Lakes region with a unique color band combination. The color combo is read left leg then right leg, top to bottom. This bird’s combination is: Orange Flag (OF), Yellow (Y) over Green (G) : Aluminum band (X), Orange (O)

A GLPIPL that was born and subsequently banded this past summer in 2014 was found in the Bahamas this winter. This was a huge discovery both to have found a chick on the wintering grounds and to have found it in the Bahamas.

Recently though, this same bird was found on a beach in Pender County, North Carolina. Not only does this indicate that this specific bird has survived the winter but this sighting also indicates that spring migration has begun! We can’t wait to see this bird in the Great Lakes and continue to follow it. Who knows where it will breed and with what other plover? How many chicks will this plover raise?

Be sure to sign up for email updates from our blog and connect with us on social media to continue following this story and others about GLPIPL.


2 thoughts on “GLPIPL on the move and headed north!

  1. Pingback: Piping Plover Spring Migration Has Begun! | The Mist Net

  2. Pingback: Confirmed #GLPIPL Nest at Muskegon State Park, MI –1st since 1950’s! | Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Effort

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s