Piping plovers, with fewer than two dozen birds in the state, are Wisconsin's rarest bird, but a new project hopes to encourage the birds to nest more readily and increase their numbers. According to the Duluth News Tribune, a portion of Shaffer Beach along the Lake Superior shoreline in northwest Wisconsin will be adorned with a wire cable and post construction to discourage gull activity, creating a peaceful, empty place for the piping plovers to nest. The rare birds have been spotted in the area on migration, but none have nested there in over 20 years.
Volunteers will be trained as plover spotters to help record the birds' activities and appearances. If nests are spotted, they will be protected and nearby activities will be curtailed so the birds will not be stressed or endangered while they raise their chicks.
Even if you aren't in an area with such a rare shorebird to protect, following proper beach bird safety during the spring and summer is crucial to safeguard all types of birds that nest on shorelines, including plovers, sandpipers, terns, gulls and more.
Photo © Gene Nieminen/USFWS