Beating the Odds: A Year in the Life of a Piping Plover

Piping Plover
Walker Golder

With this special map, Audubon has partnered with ESRI to offer an up-close, interactive look at a year in the life of an Atlantic Coast Piping Plover. Discover the threats that the imperiled bird faces on its 4,000-mile odyssey from its breeding grounds in Canada to its wintering grounds in the Bahamas, and back! Audubon is working to protect these charismatic birds every wing-beat of the way. Follow the plovers to North Carolina's Important Bird Areas like Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout and Lea-Hutaff Island.

The Piping Plover is a federally threatened and endangered shorebird, which inhabits wide, open beaches, shorelines and dry lakebeds in North America. The global population of these sparrow-sized birds is only about 8,000 adults.

Piping Plovers breed along the Atlantic coast from eastern Canada to North Carolina on the shores of the Great Lakes, and along rivers, lakes and wetlands of the northern Great Plains. During winter, the birds migrate to coastal beaches, sand-flats and mudflats from the Carolinas to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Audubon North Carolina Deputy Director Walker Golder is leading the way in research and protection of this endangered species. Read about Walker's work here

Once you are inspired by Melody's amazing story, take action to help Piping Plovers:

  • Read profiles of plover heroes working to protect plovers (Piping, Wilson's, Snowy and Mountain) all across the Audubon network
  • Follow Melody, a fictional Piping Plover's migration story
  • Pledge to share our seas and shores with shorebirds
  • Donate to support our work right here in North Carolina
  • Ask your representative to protect Piping Plovers on Cape Hatteras National Seashore

For more information on Audubon's conservation efforts for the Piping Plover, read Solving the Piping Plover Puzzle in Audubon Magazine. 

Copyright  2015 National Audubon Society, Inc