Curious Piping PloverCurious Piping Plover – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Piping Plovers are small, sparrow sized shorebirds that are endangered and threatened in most of their range primarily due to human disturbance on their nesting grounds. I photographed this Piping Plover at Fort De Soto County Park’s north beach in Florida in September of 2008. This plover approached me while I was laying very still on the wet, sandy beach. It may have seen its reflection in my lens and came closer to check it out.

Piping Plover on the beachPiping Plover on the beach – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/1500, ISO 320, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

On the same morning I photographed this Piping Plover nearby that was going out of breeding plumage as it foraged along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico.

These small shorebirds have  limited breeding range and need our protection by fencing off nests, reducing off road vehicle use near nesting grounds and providing predator control.

Happy 4th of July!