Photo of the Week: Piping Plover

7/27/2015 | 0

Piping Plover ©2015 Charles Gangas

Piping Plover ©2015 Charles Gangas

This week’s Photo of the Week celebrates the ongoing recovery of Piping Plover in Maine. Gallery member Charles Gangas shot the photo of a plover taking flight on July 17 near the beach in Kinney Shores, on Saco Bay south of Portland. He used a Nikon D810 and a 500mm lens.

Historically, Maine had more than 30 miles of suitable nesting beaches that may have supported more than 200 pairs of Piping Plovers. Today, because of encroaching development, the available shoreline habitat for nesting plovers has been reduced by 75 percent. The species, listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is considered endangered in Maine.

Nevertheless, plovers are doing better each year. In 2015, biologists counted at least 60 nesting pairs, a 20 percent increase from last year’s 50 pairs and twice as many as were counted just five years ago.

Maine Audubon has worked for more than 30 years to restore the population of plovers and Least Terns, educating the public, monitoring birds, and placing fences and signs to protect nesting areas.

In early July, according to an article in the Bangor Daily News, more than 100 plover chicks were present on the state’s beaches.

See Gangas’s previous Photo of the Week: bill-to-bill Northern Gannets.

View more photos of Piping Plover.

Six photos of beautiful plovers.


Your picture could be a Photo of the Week!

A picture you take could win you a subscription to BirdWatching! We choose a new photo every Monday. And every other month, we ask a professional bird photographer whose work we’ve published in the magazine to pick the best Photo of the Week over the previous two months. We’ll give the winner a free one-year subscription to BirdWatching. Plus, we’ll publish his or her photo in the magazine! Send us your photo today!

New to birdwatching?

Sign up for our free e-newsletter to receive news, photos of birds, attracting and ID tips, descriptions of birding hotspots, and more delivered to your inbox every other week. Sign up now.

See the contents of our current issue.

How to subscribe to BirdWatching.