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 Piping Plover

Status in Michigan
Uncommon Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Piping Plover.

Use the links below to view the Piping Plover reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Piping Plover sightings.
Piping Plover Archives Reports
Fall 2003 3
Spring 2003 6
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 4
Summer 2002 0
Spring 2002 13
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 1
Summer 2001 57
Spring 2001 3
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 2
Summer 2000 18
Spring 2000 3
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 5
Spring/Summer 1999 18

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Piping Plover

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Piping Plover
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Piping Plover
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text

Charadrius melodus Ord
Piping Plover

Summer resident on Great Lakes north to Cheboygan, Emmet, School- craft, and Delta counties.

First authoritatively listed for Michigan by Gibbs (1879: 492).

SPRING.-Arrival is reported chiefly in late April and early May. Lower Peninsula.-In the Toledo-Erie marsh area, where the species is listed as rare, it has appeared as early as April 8, though usually not until the last week of the month (L. W. Campbell, 1940: 69, 188, 202). Specimens were taken in 1896 and 1897 in Sanilac County on April 15, and in Ottawa County on April 23, 24, and 25 (Barrows, 1912: 216-17). At Fish Point, Tuscola County, N. A. Wood reported an individual on May 6, 1926. On Sand Point in 1933, 1 (U.M.M.Z.) was collected of 2 seen on May 8; 12 -were seen on May 14, and the species was observed regularly and commonly after May 21 (D. W. Douglass); records from other years indicate a similar status.

Upper Peninsula.-Walkinshaw listed the species near Manistique, Schoolcraft County, on May 12, 1937.

SUMMER.-Egg sets have been discovered from about May 20 to July 20. Lower Peninsula.-At Fish Point, Tuscola County, on June 7, 1926, a breeding pair (U.M.M.Z.) was taken by N. A. Wood; in Huron County, a downy young was banded July 11, 1937, on Lone Tree Island by C. C. and F. E. Ludwig; a nest with 4 eggs was photographed June 11, 1935, by Van Tyne on Sand Point, where the species was not uncommon in summer (D. W. Douglass and others); on Charity Island, a female and a set of 4 partly incubated eggs were collected in late May, 1903 (Arnold, 1903o: 74-75) . On Black River Island, Alcona County, C. C. and F. E. Ludwig banded a downy young on July 13, 1933, and collected a plover about two- thirds grown (Max M. Peet collection) on July 11, 1934. Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) have found this plover breeding regularly along the coast of Cheboygan and Emmet counties (see also Barrows, 1912: 216-17); among other records, they reported a nest of 4 eggs just hatching on July 19, 1937, near Cheboygan, and young observed several times from mid-July to mid-August. David E. Davis noted the species along the shore of Benzie County, where he banded 3 young on July 16, 1926, and where he caught 1 (at Point Betsie) on July 14, 1929. In Leelanau County, A. E. Staebler and L. D. Case collected specimens (U.M.M.Z.) on the Manitou islands (1940) and on South Fox Island (1939), where it was breeding commonly. On Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, in early July, 1904, Barrows (1904:79) watched an individual that appeared to have a nest or young in the immediate vicinity.

Upper Peninsula.-On June 20, 1935, near Manistique, Schoolcraft County, Bryens and Walkinshaw (1936: 210) noted a flock of 9 adults and captured 2 downy young (1 in U.M.M.Z.) ; Christofferson reported seeing the species in the same vicinity on other occasions (June 12, 1937, 3 birds, and June 4, 1938, 10). On July 12, 1932, on Sand Island, southwest of Escanaba, Delta County, Lyon (1933: 55; and other data) found an adult, and one chick which he banded.

FALL.-Little is known of the fall movement, which appears to occur very early and to come to a close in late August or early September.

Lower Peninsula.-Max M. Peet has in his collection 2 specimens that he secured on Duncan Bay, Cheboygan, on September 3, 1941. Walkinshaw noted a Piping Plover at Alpena, on September 1, 1935, and another at St. Joseph, Berrien County, on August 13, 1933. There is but 1 record for any season of the year from the Ann Arbor region: an individual observed by Trautman at Whitmore Lake on September 7,1937. According to Barrows (1912: 216-17), 1 was taken at Forestville, Sanilac County, on November 24, 1903. L. W. Campbell (1940: 69, 188, 202) apparently found few of the species about the Toledo-Erie marsh area after late July or early August, but reported stragglers on occasion until early September.

The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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