Piping Plovers on Fire Island
Two federally listed threatened and endangered bird species are known to nest within Fire Island National Seashore. One is the piping plover (Charadrius melodus), a migratory shorebird that is listed as federally threatened and New York State endangered.
The piping plover, a stocky sand-colored shorebird, nests on Fire Island National Seashore beaches. The Atlantic coast population of piping plovers breeds from Virginia to Canada. All piping plovers return to the southern Atlantic Coast, Gulf Coast, Bahamas, or West Indies for the winter.
Piping Plover Biology
For their first four weeks of life, piping plover chicks may wander hundreds of yards from the nest site, usually staying with one or both parents until they fly for the first time. Plovers generally fledge only a single brood per year, but may re-nest if previous nests are lost, or if the chicks are lost within a few days of hatching.
Fire Island National Seashore's piping plover monitoring and protection program begins in March with a restriction on driving, pets, and kites on portions of the beach.
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