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Barnegat Light in Ocean County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A Vanishing Summer Visitor

Piping Plovers

 

—Coastal Habitats —

 
A Vanishing Summer Visitor Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2010
1. A Vanishing Summer Visitor Marker
Inscription. The sandy beach is home to breeding pairs of piping plovers (Charadrius melodus). They often follow each around the beach – one watching for predators while the other feeds. When searching for food, they will run a short distance, pause momentarily, and stare at wet sand for the gentle wiggle of a buried crustacean or mollusk.

Piping plover populations have declined significantly in the past fifty years. Development near the shore has destroyed much of their summer breeding habitat. Because the number of breeding pairs is now less than 15% of their pre 1940s population, they are listed as a federally endangered species.

Conservationists continue to monitor their progress and take measures to promote reproductive success. You can help the piping plover by respecting the beaches they use for nesting.
 
Erected by State of New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry and National Park System.
 
Location. 39° 45.818′ N, 74° 6.182′ W. Marker is in Barnegat Light, New Jersey, in Ocean County. Marker can be reached from Broadway, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located in Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, at the end of the boardwalk by the waterfront. Marker is in this post office area: Barnegat Light NJ 08006, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Marker in Barnegat Lighthouse State Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2010
2. Marker in Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
The Vanishing Summer Visitor marker is part of the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route.
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Birds of the Beach (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); How Much Water Flows Through Barnegat Inlet (about 300 feet away); U.S. Merchant Marine WW II Memorial (about 700 feet away); Vigilant Guardian (approx. 0.2 miles away); Maritime Forest Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Salty Survivors (approx. 0.2 miles away); Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade (approx. 0.2 miles away); Barnegat Lighthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Barnegat Light.
 
More about this marker. Several pictures appear at the bottom of the marker. On the left is a photo by Joseph Lomax of a piping plover on the beach. It has a caption of “The piping plover lays four speckled eggs camouflaged in a depression on the sand, lined with shells, pebbles, and remnants of driftwood.”
Next to this is an image of two footprints, with a caption of “Compare the track made by the piping plover (left) to those of other shorebirds (right). Without a fourth toe to aid their balance, piping plovers usually stay on hard-packed sand.”
A photograph of a piping plover, by Kevin Karlson, is next, and has a caption of “You can identify the piping plover by its shape, the dark ring around its neck, and the black tip of its beak.”
The rightmost picture is of an “Area Closed, endangered birds nesting” sign that might be seen on the beach. It has the caption, “Obeying posted notices and keeping dogs leashed and away from nesting areas will help to protect breeding piping plovers.”
 
Also see . . .
1. New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route. National Park Service website. (Submitted on July 1, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry website. (Submitted on July 1, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. AnimalsScience & Medicine
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 1, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 310 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 1, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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