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Piping Plover
Charadrius melodus
The Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) is a small, endangered shorebird, which nests on lakeshores, dunes, and beaches along the Atlantic seaboard as well as at scattered locations in the northern Great Plains and southern Canada. It winters along beaches of the southern Atlantic coast and Gulf coasts of the United States as well as the Gulf coast of Mexico. The bird shown here was at San Luis Pass, Galveston Co., Texas, in January, 1993. This shot was taken with a Canon T-90 and FD 400mm F/4.5 lens on Kodachrome 200 film.
The shot shown here was taken in September, 1981, at Bolivar Flats, Galveston Co., Texas. This Piping Plover was taken out of a mist net during sandpiper banding operations. It was released just after this photo was taken.
The shot at right was taken at Quintana, Brazoria Co., Texas, in October, 1998. A Piping Plover is shown on the left and a Snowy Plover is on the right. It is not uncommon to find both these species wintering together on the Texas Gulf coast. The shot was taken with a Canon EOS 1N and EF 300mm F/2.8 L lens and 2X extender on Fuji Sensia.
The shot at right shows five Piping Plovers in alternate plumage, standing on the beach at Bolivar Flats, Galveston Co., Texas, in April, 1993. This shot was taken with a Canon T-90 and FD 400mm F/4.5 lens on Kodachrome 200 film.
The seven images shown next were all taken at San Luis Pass, Galveston Co., Texas, in February, 2007. These were digital images with a Canon EOS 1D Mark II and EF 600mm F/4 L IS lens and 2X extender. The seven shots show the same Piping Plover in various poses. These images were taken near mid day, so, unfortunately, the eyes lack a hi-light and thus appear rather flat and dead looking. Note especially the 3rd, 4th and 5th images. The plover found some sort of worm in the tidal flat, pulled it from the mud and quickly ate it. This occurred many times.
The shot at right was taken at the same time and place as the images just above. The image shows a color-banded Piping Plover. I have since learned that this bird was banded as an adult near its nest at Lake Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan, Canada, during the summer, 2006. This was the first time the bird had been seen since it left the nesting grounds, so researchers were happy to know where it was wintering. Color-banded shorebirds such as this particular Piping Plover can provide important data about these birds.
The breeding plumaged Piping Plovers in the next 4 images were at Boca Chica, Cameron Co., Texas, in April, 2009. These shots were taken with a Canon EOS 50D and an EF 800mm F/5.6 L IS lens.
The winter plumaged Piping Plover in the next 2 shots was at Bolivar Flats, Galveston Co., Texas, in November, 2009. These shots were taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and an EF 800mm F/5.6 L IS lens and 1.4X extender.
The basic (winter) plumaged Piping Plover in this shot was at South Padre Island, Cameron Co., Texas, in December, 2010. This image was taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and an EF 800mm F/5.6 L IS lens.
Piping Plover
Charadrius melodus
Crystal Beach,
Galveston Co., Texas
23 September 2015
Piping Plover
Charadrius melodus
Bolivar Flats,
Galveston Co., Texas
24 September 2015
Piping Plover
Charadrius melodus
Bolivar Flats,
Galveston Co., Texas
30 March 2016