As I mentioned in my last post, I planned to visit the beach over the weekend. Our plans changed some and I ended up visiting Caladesi Island with my family instead. Because Caladesi is only reached by boat and it takes a little planing to get there, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring my camera and go in search of my favorite pair of American Oystercatchers. I was rewarded with hundreds of photos of beautiful shorebirds including not one, but two pairs of Oystercatchers, so it was a fantastic day!
After downloading my photos when I returned home to try to initially identify and sort them all by type for processing later, I was surprised to see that this bird had been banded several times. I am not sure what organization was responsible for the banding, but knew that there must be something special about this little bird to have received so much attention. After a little research I found that this is a Piping Plover. The species is listed as Endangered in Canada and the inland United States, and Threatened along the US coast. Piping Plovers need barren dry sand near dunes to nest and are easily displaced unintentionally by people and other animals. As a protected completely natural area, Caladesi Island is the perfect place for Piping Plovers to nest undisturbed.