Date: 5/7/18 2:54 pm
From: Tait, Mag <mtait...>
Subject: Re: [birders] That Banded Piping Plover, Lake Saint Clair Metropark, April 2018
Remarkable series of photos!

Sent from my iPhone

On May 7, 2018, at 5:36 PM, Alan Ryff <alryff...><mailto:<alryff...>> wrote:

The following is information about that banded Piping Plover at Lake Saint Clair Metropark 22-30 April 2018.

It foraged for the most part along the broken interface of lawn grass and open sandy beach, probably detecting the subterranean earthworms by feeling them through its feet and/or hearing them. With its bill it then either dug or pulled the worms out of the sand. After eating several worms, the plover returned to the shoreline. See photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/snow-shadow/

On 4 May Vince Cavalieri, a Certified Wildlife Biologist, at the East Lansing Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, responded to my question about the origin of the banded Piping Plover at Lake Saint Clair Metropark during 22-30 April 2018:

". . . I assume you are talking about a male plover that actually bred in Green Bay last year. That in itself is kind of a remarkable story. The USACE and Brown County, Wisconsin developed a project to recreate a series of islands that once existed in Green Bay prior to the 1970s. They used dredge from the Fox River and made a series of cells within dikes. Kind of by accident one of the cells kind of turned into good piping plover habitat and it first attracted 1 pair in 2016 and then somewhat remarkably 4 pairs in 2017. The male you saw was part of the 4th pair that developed a nest out on Cat Island last year. I assume it was just stopping by Lake St. Clair Metropark on its way back to Cat Island, but we shall see! The whole Cat Island project has been a tremendous success for shorebirds as there have been I think over 30 species spotted using it as a stopover location including some other rare species like Red Knot and Hudsonian Godwit."

On 5 May Alice Van Zoeren, who manages e-mail for the Great Lakes Piping Plover Conservation Team, <plover...><mailto:<plover...> added to Vince's information:

"We don't know when or where this fellow hatched since he wasn't banded as a chick. As Vince noted he returned to breed last summer (2017) at Cat Island in Green Bay, WI."

It's worth while checking out the Great Lakes Piping Plover Conservation Team, especially their captive-breeding program in conjunction with the Detroit Zoo staff at the Michigan Biological Station near Pellston, Michigan.
http://www.greatlakespipingplover.org/

Alan Ryff

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