Piping Plover Beach Access Home
This page is intended to inform our community about the status of the Piping Plovers restrictions on our kite beaches in Massachusetts. We are also providing some simple “rules” that we all can follow, as well as more site specific rules for individual areas. We will update these throughout the season until the Plovers have flown away. If you have any new important information that is not posted here, please let us know.
As frustrating as all of this is, it is in our best interest to help these little birds do their thing so that we can get our beach access back as soon as possible.
There are many groups at work trying to help these birds. They each have their different ways in dealing with the problem, so it can get confusing when it comes to which ones are really in charge. Basically, we have to listen and respect all of them.
Things you should know...
- The Piping Plover are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and considered “threatened.”
- There are only 1900 nesting pairs of Piping Plovers left in the world. Massachusetts hosts one third of this population. 87 are on the Cape.
- Plovers return to the same breeding areas every year.
- “Plover Season” on the Cape can start as early as the beginning of April.
- Plover eggs take roughly 25 days to hatch. They usually start sitting on their nests when they have 4 eggs.
- Once hatched, the chicks can fly about 30 days later.
- It is important that we do not disturb them while nesting.
Stormtides, predators (dogs, crows, foxes), and humans can disrupt the nesting process.
- If the Plover leaves it’s nest, it will most likely renest in the vicinity. But this keeps beaches closed for at least another month (usually until August).
So... while the Plover Season is inevitable, it is in our best interest to make sure that these Plovers do well so that the restrictions are lifted as early as possible. What can you as a kiter do to help? Follow these simple general rules when you know you are in the vicinity of a protected Plover area:
- Stay away from the enclosed areas. Do one walk close to them. Try to stay at least 150 yards away from these areas when kiting.
- DO NOT fly your kite OVER these areas. Keep your kites over the water, especially when walking near these areas.
- Keep your dogs leashed at all times.
- Be nothing but understanding and courteous to the people looking out for these birds. They are just doing their job.
For more information, please go to:
Cape Cod Times Article about the plovers from 06.01.11
|Beach Name||Last Updated|
|Chapin Beach Cape Cod MA||01/02/2012 - 17:33||Chapin has 4 nests this year. They are scattered down the peninsula starting to the left of the beach ORV access ramp. Please set up to the right of the access ramp only. If you are blown down wind (left of access ramp) walk your kite back with your kite over the water. If you cannot do this, self land your kite and walk back to where you can launch. UPDATE May 23: We continue to have two active pairs here, and one active nest. As a result NO DOGS ARE ALLOWED at this beach. This nest has four (4) eggs with a tentative hatch date of mid-June. At this time we have set tentative ORV closure dates of June 13 through July 13th. If predation occurs, a closure will not occur.|
|Hardings Beach||09/25/2012 - 16:08||There are nesting areas located between the southern parking lot and the light house.|
|Kalmus Beach||06/01/2011 - 10:24||There are 6 nests here this year. Please stay away from the marked areas.|
|Long Beach, Nahant||01/02/2012 - 17:16||There have been talks about Piping Plover restoration in the area. If this occurs, please keep at least 150 feet away from any nesting sites. Respect anything that the Mass Audubon Society or Mass Environmental and Conservation posts. Help us keep the right to kite at Nahant.|
|Revere Beach||08/04/2011 - 12:06||Audubon Society, New England Aquarium and the Mass Environmental Police will have a daily presence observing the PLOVER nesting AREA. These areas are marked by signs. NO WALKING WITH YOUR KITE IN THE AIR IN THAT AREA. And please DO NOT kite within 150 yards of the Plover Nesting area and the sand dunes. Please DO NOT kite in front of the FIESTA HOUSE for this reason, instead kiting in front of DUNKIN DONUTS to just a few hundred yards past the northern bathhouse. Please help the Revere locals by being proactive to the situation and following these simple rules.|
|West Dennis Beach - Cape Cod, MA||09/20/2012 - 08:47||West Dennis Beach has 4 nests this year. Once the Plovers start sitting on their nests, the Town closes off the end of the parking lot starting from around where the first nest is. There is to be no kiting from the windsurfing beach once nests have been identified and the end of the lot is closed. Kiters must park and walk down the beach to the jetty to launch (far west side of the beach). Every year there are yellow buoy markers put in place to designate how far you should stay away from shore. **UPDATE May 23rd: We now have two (2) nests. The other two suffered predation but we are expecting the birds to re-nest. One of these nests was the “blockade brood” which creates the parking lot closure. We have put any closure on hold while we monitor re-nesting activities. If they do, the parking lot closure will occur later in the summer. We are also monitoring a new pair in the volleyball court area. To date they have not nested. Stay tuned. Dogs are allowed ON LEASH ONLY at West Dennis Beach until Memorial Day weekend. This year enforcement is being stepped up and fines will be levied by Natural Resource Officers and Animal Control Officers.|
|Winthrop Beach||01/02/2012 - 17:30||The plover areas have been extended this year in both areas (Winthrop aka 5 Sister & Yirrell). Yirrell has been extended another 15 yards from last year. When setting up there, set up well to the right of the stairs that cross over the beach wall. Do not fly kites over or even near the marked off areas.|