At this point of the season our Piping Plovers are mostly (thankfully!) attending to nests with eggs about to hatch or taking constant care of hatchlings. Viewing them requires a bit of skill and patience. The most important thing we want to do is give them as much room as possible. We emphasize giving them space and allowing them to be safe as the number one priority over data.
Elizabeth Medina-Gray sent me this beautiful photo last week which I enjoyed even more because this is precisely how we want our monitors to view our birds.
You'll note that this individual is standing in wet sand as it is foraging along the tide. It is not agitated or performing a distraction display, merely feeding and going about its business. Elizabeth said it flew in to feed in front of her - she was obviously walking in the correct place for monitoring, right along the water, giving the birds the entire beach. A long lens helps a great deal, too.
Thank you to Elizabeth and all of our monitors for the great work done thus far in 2014!