Piping Plovers are small, endangered shorebirds in Manitoba. Its call is described as a "plaintive peep-lo" which made it the perfect name for this blog as it too is a plaintive call, a Call to Action.

07 June 2002

Walking the Beaches

We have been walking the Beaches between Patricia Beach and Elk Island and while we have seen the occasional Plover, still no sign of more nests. Its a nerve-wracking activity. The birds are wonderfully camoflauged but their eggs are truly wonders of invisibility . Walking the Plovers traditional nesting grounds is a slow, meticulous process. It is necessary to walk at the water's edge and constantly scan the sand for the birds and/or sign of nest scrapes. Because the beaches along Lake Winnipeg are narrow and water levels change rapidly, nests can be closer to the water than expected. It is important when enjoying these beaches to assume that Plovers could be nesting anywhere. And remember than atv-use not only damages the beach ecosystem and is dangerous for nesting birds, it is also illegal in all provincially protected areas. Another human-related threat is "Man's best friend". Dogs are wonderful companions but they dangerous to nesting birds. They are curious and their natural instinct is to chase. As ground-nesters Plovers are of particular fascination for dogs. In provincially-protected areas, free-ranging dogs are not allowed in the water, on the sand, or in the dunes for the health and safety of beach-users. On non-protected beaches, please choose alternate routes for your daily walks during the nesting season. The safety and survival of the Manitoba's Plovers is everyone's responsibility.