While doing my first Long Island shorebird survey of 2015, I found my 1st banded Piping Plover of 2015 on Dune Road--Tiana Beach, on Long Island. I sexed this bird as a female after watching it for a while and comparing the breast and forehead band against that of another Piping Plover, which I presumed was a male. The presumed male PIPL looked slightly larger and also had a bill that showed more and brighter orange at the base. Sexing Piping Plover in the field is not easy, but after carefully studying these two birds yesterday I was pretty comfortable that my banded bird was a female.
The scheme of the bands reminded me of the PIPL program of Virginia Tech and of a few Fire Island banded birds I found last year, so I e-mailed Dan Catlin one of the coordinators who confirmed that my banded bird was from one of the Fire Island project. Audrey Wilson a team leader of PIPL monitors who I met last year out at Cupsogue and was copied on the e-mail also provided additional information that confirmed the bird was a female (yay on my sexing) adult that was banded on Fire Island in 2013. Apparently, this bird had one chick in 2013 which did not survive. In 2014, this bird attempted nesting twice but was unsuccessful in both attempts.
Tags: Tiana Beach, Long Island, Piping Plover