“The reason why these birds are endangered is mainly due to habitat loss due to human activities,” says piping plover expert
Area residents are welcome to help out some fine feathered friends here for a beach vacation.
Piping plovers, an endangered bird on the federal endangered species list, are once again establishing searches on Georgian Bay beaches in Tiny Township and Wasaga Beach.
âThe birds start to arrive, they usually lay eggs around mid-May,â said Andrea Gress, Ontario Piping Plover Program Coordinator at Birds Canada / Oiseaux Canada.
âThe main nesting site in this area is Wasaga Beach, but we also have nests in Tiny Township for the past two seasons. With lower water levels, it is likely that they will continue to nest in Tiny Township.
With just 8,000 piping plovers, they need all the help they can get, according to Gress.
To this end, the public is encouraged to report sightings to Birds Canada at [email protected] so that appropriate protection and monitoring measures can be put in place.
“They are very endangered and it is always special to see them nesting wherever they end up,” said Gress, noting that the birds only breed in Canada and the United States.
âLast year they nested in Wasaga Beach, Woodland Beach, Toronto Island, Sauble Beach and Darlington Provincial Park. We only had seven pairs in the entire province in 2020, and only 64 pairs in all of the Great Lakes. They breed only in Canada and the United States.
The birds lay their eggs in mid-May and the eggs hatch after a month.
âSo they usually hatch around Father’s Day weekend,â Gress said. âThen the chicks take three to four weeks to learn to fly, but they can walk right away. Then they start to migrate south around mid-July until early August.
And like many other species at risk, the fact that there are so few piping plovers left in the world can be directly attributed to humans, according to Gress.
“The reason why these birds are endangered is mainly due to habitat loss due to human activities,” she said, noting the development of coastal areas, mismanagement of beaches and recreation on the beach by tens of thousands of people play a role.
âSo helping to protect them is very important because we’re the reason they’re not doing so well. Moreover, it is easy to help them.
Once a nesting area is identified, all nests will be fenced off and people will not be allowed to enter.
âIf you see a plover outside the fenced area, give it plenty of space,â Gress said. MidlandToday. âThey need to be able to rest and feed themselves safely. “
She said it was also important not to let dogs disturb the birds, adding: “Don’t feed the wildlife and remove all litter and food from the beach when you go.”