Plum Island Pilgrimage Part 2: Piping Plover against the World
It is easy to overlook the piping plover. They are so small and blend in so well with the beach sand. This, of course, is one of the reasons they are threatened with extinction--beach-goers with their eyes on some distant horizon unknowingly trod on their nests and eggs. So as any summer visitor to Plum Island knows, vast stretches of beach are closed to help these birds survive as a species.
On Plum Island piping plovers are not particularly rare, though you need look to notice them. I've intentionally kept the photos below unzoomed to give you a sense of scale (you can click on the photos to get the full-size versions).
Of course, there are few birds cuter than the piping plover, so we need zoomed-in photos as well...