In the list of noteworthy visitors to Maine’s beaches each summer, Piping Plovers ought to be right at the top. Every year, these iconic shorebirds nest on sandy beaches up and down our coast, raising their young alongside all of us who are looking to enjoy the beach.
Plovers head out to the beaches well ahead of most of us, typically returning in late March. To help celebrate their return — and to help support our important work on behalf of endangered coastal birds — Maine Audubon is hosting a “Piping Plover Party” on Saturday, March 16. Taking place at the Ferry Beach Retreat & Conference Center in Saco, the event will feature outside activities on the beach but we also have plenty of indoor activities, including dinner, music, educational activities, and a silent auction.
This event got me thinking about plovers. They really do arrive in March — here are the first reported arrival dates for Piping Plovers in Maine for the past seven years:
- 30 March 2018
- 28 March 2017
- 18 March 2016
- 28 March 2015
- 28 March 2014
- 13 March 2013
- 31 March 2012
Thanks to modern technology, we can see that the birds are already on the move. Check out the 2019 Range Map on eBird:
Amazingly, you can see from the northernmost blue pin on that map that a plover has already been sighted on Nantucket, on 23 February:
The plovers are on their way! We will post updates once they arrive in Maine. In the meantime, why not make plans to attend our party on March 16 and welcome these wonderful birds in style?