Many people flock to Wasaga Beach Provincial Park for the sandy beach… but so do the birds!
Piping Plovers are small shorebirds seen scurrying along sandy shorelines or backs of beaches where water has pooled, searching for insects and small crustaceans. Although well camouflaged, Piping Plovers are identifiable by their short orange bills and bright orange legs. These shorebirds may be little, weighing about 2 ounces and 6 inches in length, but they are mighty. Twice a year they migrate approximately 2,000 miles to the Atlantic Coast of Mexico.
Unfortunately, Piping Plovers are endangered with a global population of about 8,000 adults. Although, these birds have to face the elements, such as heavy precipitation, human disturbances and predation, they have some amazing volunteers and Ontario Parks staff in their corner! This past summer 45 volunteers donated 1589 hours over 10 weeks, as Piping Plover Guardians, which is funded through the MNRF, as well as the TD Friends of the Environment. Due to this great partnership with Ontario Parks and MNRF, Wasaga Beach had its highest Piping Plover fledging rate since these birds started nesting again in 2008. There were 12 adults and 3 nests, which yielded 9 young to migrate. In total, 31 Piping Plovers have successfully migrated since 2008.
This is one of the #CoolThingsinOP. Want to see what else made our list? Check out the new Cool Things Video for Wasaga Beach: