It’s Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) nesting season!! You have probably started to notice the “symbolic fencing” at some of your local parks and beaches. Plovers tend to nest from mid March to around Labor day. The symbolic fencing protects the nesting plovers from people and vehicles. Once a nest has been established, enclosures are placed around the nest to protect from potential predators. The enclosures have holes small enough to let the plovers through, but not anything else. Scientist then monitor the plovers (from a safe distance) to check if the population is increasing or decreasing. These measures are taken because the piping plover is protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and was listed in 1985.
Recently I have become more interested in birding. Birds are fascinating creatures, and each species seems to have its own personality. The first time I encountered a Great Blue Heron (Ardea harodias) was at one of my favorite local New York State Parks. I was strolling down a marshy beach, and out of nowhere a majestic bird took flight and cruised away. They quickly become one of the favorite parts of my summer hikes.