The winter issue of National Parks Magazine is out, and it looks great. Check it out here: National Parks. For this issue I was fortunate to work with the scientists at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan to tell the story of the endangered Piping Plover, a small migratory shorebird that makes its nest among the cobbles of the Great Lakes.

Here’s the beginning:

A Shoreline Rescue: The National Park Service fights to bring Great Lakes’ piping plovers back from the brink.

In the morning hours, when the lake and the sky are the same soft gray, Alice Van Zoeren steps among the small stones marking the high waterline at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan. Van Zoeren walks this route almost every day from late April to June, scanning the beach for signs of newly arrived piping plovers—but this time, the scene looks different: A late-spring storm has repositioned the lakeshore’s cobbles. To most visitors, the disturbance would go unnoticed. But to Van Zoeren, who has been monitoring piping plovers here for the last eight years, it’s as if someone came by and rearranged the furniture without asking permission. Once the plovers build their nests and lay their eggs amid the stones, such a seemingly innocuous event can have disastrous consequences for the small, pale shorebird with bright orange legs. … continued here …

Advertisements