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!

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First GLPIPL Nest of 2016 Breeding Season

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 2.11.50 PMEarlier today, the first Great Lakes piping plover nest of 2016 was discovered by monitors at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

This nest is a full week earlier than the first nest found last year. In 2015, Ludington State Park held the title for first nest discovered.

The breeding season is officially in full swing and chicks will be on the beaches of the Great Lakes in about a month!


Please note: One of our trained and experienced workers took the picture included in this post last year. It was taken quickly when setting up the protective exclosure to prevent predators from accessing the nest as easily. We ask that everyone always respect the plovers and their eggs/chicks by giving them lots of room. Giving them lots of room decreases the level of disturbance and stress they experience. Thank you!


6 out of 7 Captive-Reared GLPIPL Chicks from 2015 Seen on Wintering Grounds

Of,b/OB:X,B seen 9/24 by Adam Dinuovo and Jean Hall

Orange flag (upper left) over light blue-orange split over dark blue (lower left), metal band (upper right) over dark blue (lower right) aka Of,b/OB:X,B seen 9/24 by Adam Dinuovo and Jean Hall

Our sixth captive-reared GLPIPL chick from this past summer had a confirmed sighting in Florida this past week. This is significant because only one captive-reared chick from 2015 is left to be seen on the wintering grounds. Six out of seven chicks is incredible success for both our captive-rearing program as well as the birds.

If you are birding on the GLPIPL wintering grounds this year make sure you keep an eye out for banded plovers.  Then tell us! We want to know if you see any banded Piping Plover with orange bands (the Great Lakes indicator color) please email us your sighting at with as much information and detail as possible. Pictures of the bird being reported are greatly appreciated.

For assistance on reading the color bands please check out our permanent page with more details and examples.


Of,b/OB:X,B seen 9/24 by Adam Dinuovo and Jean Hall

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Nesting #GLPIPL on Nature Conservancy Property in Grand Marais, MI

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 2.19.41 PM

X,b:Of,GY – the 2015 male GLPIPL nesting on the Nature Conservancy property in Grand Marais, Michigan –this picture was taken using a camera trap set up for a Lake Superior State University student’s senior project

Bill and Kathy Davis purchased a piece of property in Grand Marais, Michigan and then sold it to the Nature Conservatory so no one would build a house on it and it would be a safe place for the plovers to nest.

This year there is a pair that has nested on the property.

The male (color combo X,b:Of,GY) nested in Grand Marais in 2014 with a different female but unfortunately none of his chicks survived to adulthood. The female (color combo X,G:Of,bL) come much more north than her nesting site, Ludington State Park, last year.

They are both dedicated parents and they’re chicks are due to hatch on June 22.


Written by: Grand Marias monitor Gislaine Peters