Cotton Ball with Legs
Have you ever seen a cotton ball with legs? That’s what it was like seeing this impossibly tiny Piping Plover yesterday (Wednesday). A huge thanks to my friends who I met through Instagram, @acouplewithoutborders, for spending the day with and showing me some amazing places. And for helping me to realize a dream of seeing the youngest shorebirds I have ever had the great privilege to see. Piping Plovers are classified by the IUCN as “Near Threatened” with a population fewer than 7000 individuals. So when we found them running around on the beach, outside the protected area, we stayed far back and crouched down low to prevent interference. While we watched they came closer and closer to us, allowing us great views. We didn’t stay long and I did not go back this morning. Even though I would have been thrilled to see them again, I thought it was better to leave them alone. As you can see from this image, Piping Plovers, as with all shorebirds, are precocial. They are able to move around on their own and feed themselves shortly after hatching.