Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)
Piping plovers look like a small, pale killdeer with a single dark breast stripe. Their preferred habitat is a wide, sandy beach along the Great Lakes shore in areas that have scant vegetation and scattered stones. Their nesting territories often include a small stream or interdunal wetland. Piping plovers lay four eggs in a small scrape on the ground and depend on the coloration of their eggs and feathers for protection. Piping plovers are an endangered species in Michigan. They winter on the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts.
For a summary of the 2004 nesting season, be sure to check out the August, 2004 edition of the Great Lakes Piping Plover Call (PDF).