Piping Plovers


in the Great Lakes

Piping Plover – Photo by Tyler Moulton on Unsplash

Piping Plovers

Have you ever seen a Piping Plover? The Piping Plover is a small, endangered shorebird with a white breast and sandy-brown feathers on its back and head. It is found in both the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, especially in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan in the lower peninsula where it nests. The scientific name for the Piping Plover is Charadrius melodus.

Click here to see more about Piping Plovers at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Piping Plover – Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash


During the breeding season, which begins in early spring and lasts through the summer, the adult Piping Plover has a black band around its neck and a black bar on its white forehead. It also has a short, black-tipped, orange bill that turns all-black when the breeding season is over.

Piping Plovers – Photo by Tyler Moulton on Unsplash


Piping Plovers can be found on the sandy shorelines of Michigan and the Great Lakes area. They tend to run, stop, peck at the ground for food, and then run again. They can also be found on the Atlantic Coast and in the Great Plains.

Click here to see more about Piping Plovers and hear what they sound like.