Skip to main content

Hey, Lake Superior beachcombers – you can help this endangered bird

Piping plover only nest on beaches where they can find privacy.

It won't happen this weekend, but before long Minnesota will be free of ice and snow.

Then it will be finally be beach season on Lake Superior. For people, and perhaps even a pair of piping plover.

The plover is an endangered bird that lives on the beaches of lakeshores. It was once common around Duluth and Superior but the St. Louis River Alliance says 1987 was the last time a plover nest was spotted around the Twin Ports.

The Alliance is helping the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service carry out its plan for bringing the plover back from the edge of extinction.

They say plover have been seen on Duluth-area beaches in each of the last two years. But each time the birds apparently decided it was not a safe place to nest so they took off.

Plover are looking for a stretch of beach that's undisturbed. In a metro area like Duluth-Superior that's tough to find. But the folks at the River Alliance say they want to show that people and shorebirds can share the beaches.

How you can help

Early May through mid-June is when the plover migrate north from the Gulf of Mexico. So that's when the Alliance and its volunteers put up signs in promising plover habitat letting people know about the rare birds.

They want people (and their dogs) to steer clear of those areas, especially if any plover are actually spotted. But people don't always pay attention. St. Louis River Alliance director Kris Eiles tells the News Tribune about one frustrating experience.

"I was literally putting up the sign asking people not to walk through that stretch of beach and a woman walked by with her dog and let the dog go free," Eiles said.

People can also help by volunteering. On Saturday (at 11 a.m.) the Alliance is having a beach cleanup and volunteer roundup event at the Park Point beach house.

Volunteers will take turns scouting the beaches for plover this spring. If and when the birds arrive, the volunteers would monitor them. And if this becomes the year of Duluth's first plover nest since the Reagan administration, they would watch it around the clock to keep it from getting disturbed by people or predators, the Alliance says.

Next Up

IMG_5455

Bloomington, Richfield districts tighten security ahead of weekend football

Enhanced safety measures will be in place this weekend.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 2.23.15 PM

Walz sends MN first responders to help with hurricane recovery in Florida

Eight members of the Minnesota All Hazards Incident Management Team will travel to Florida.

drought

It was the driest September in Twin Cities modern history

Less than a quarter inch of rain fell in September.

Jay James Olson

Sauk Rapids man pleads guilty to making, selling ghost guns

The 21-year-old would sell unserialized guns, silencers, auto-sears, and high-capacity magazines.

Pixabay - gray squirrel

Squirrel blamed for Friday power outage impacting over 5,000 homes

There's no telling when or where the squirrels will strike next.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 8.11.55 AM

Seattle man federally indicted in massive Bloomington fentanyl bust

The case is believed to represent the largest fentanyl bust in the Midwest.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 9.27.53 AM

Nicollet Diner to launch new, expanded home with a drag show

The new location will still feature the diner's classic offerings, as well as a new cabaret venue and cocktail lounge.

police tape, crime scene

Woman found dead at Minneapolis home was stabbed multiple times

LaTiffany Altanette Lessley was found dead in a north Minneapolis home Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2022-09-29 at 4.48.45 PM

Bloomington PD announce what's likely 'largest fentanyl bust in Midwest'

The case is under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Related

Hey, Lake Superior beachcombers – you can help this endangered bird

Piping plover only nest on beaches where they can find privacy.

3 men and a moose: Check out this lake rescue

A moose fell through the ice on a northeastern Minnesota lake – twice – on Monday.

3 men and a moose: Check out this lake rescue

A moose fell through the ice on a northeastern Minnesota lake – twice – on Monday.

Can you really steal a free book? Empty libraries get refilled

Instead of the 'Take one, leave one' approach to Little Free Libraries, some people take them all and leave nothing.