Volunteer monitors will assist with tasks related to observing and protecting piping plovers and providing information to the general public about these shorebirds, the efforts to attract nesting pairs and what the public can do to help these efforts. Volunteers may also work to reduce/limit invasive plant species on designated beach areas and to create a favorable habitat for the Piping Plover to nest.
Piping plover monitors for Wisconsin and Minnesota Points will be a part of a team of monitors in the Great Lakes. Plover monitors will play a key role in a high priority effort to bring back nesting pairs of this endangered species to the St Louis River estuary.
Specific Volunteer Activities and Responsibilities
- Volunteer monitors will assist SLRA staff in watching for the presence of piping plover along the selected beaches during the spring migration.
- Volunteer monitors will record of the number of any plovers that they spot, indicating their locations, and the types of behavior the birds may be exhibiting.
- Volunteer monitors will report to SLRA staff any nesting behavior.
- Volunteers monitors will report to SLRA staff the presence of eggs, hatching of chicks, number of chicks, chick behavior and determining fledge dates.
- Volunteer monitors will assist SLRA staff in providing information to the public using the beaches about the plovers and encourage the public’s cooperation in staying out of the area where plovers are visiting.
- Volunteers may assist employees in maintaining habitat areas as needed.
Key Locations for monitoring:
– Minnesota Point Beach in Duluth, Minnesota
– Wisconsin Point Beach in Superior, Wisconsin
– Wisconsin Point Shorebird Sanctuary, Wisconsin
Desired Knowledge and Experience
Prior Birding experience is helpful, but not required. Interested volunteers will need to attend a volunteer orientation and training session.
- Knowledge and experience with standard methods and procedures related to field observation tasks desired but not required.
- Knowledge and experience in bird species identification.
- Knowledge and experience of recording and maintaining detailed field notes.
- understand and follow instructions from SLRA staff.
- work in a variety of outdoor field conditions including wet, cold, and extreme heat.
- work and communicate effectively with the public, representing the St. Louis River Alliance in a professional manner.
- use binoculars and spotting scopes (training will be provided).
- transport oneself to, from, and around monitoring sites.
- walk long distances on uneven terrain, and carry equipment.