Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pipers, Puffins and the Future of Our Harbor

One of the interesting things about being involved in Massachusetts estuaries and Boston Harbor in particular is learning of the life that teems within it, as well as the tremendous potential of it that is still unrealized. We have forgotten what Boston Harbor can be. 

In this blog before we have commented on the lone Atlantic Sturgeon spotted in the locks at the Charles and oystercatchers in Winthrop. But there is even more happening.
Tiny Piping Plovers blend in with the sand.

Piping Plovers appear to be returning to Winthrop and Revere. While the news of these adorable birds may be disconcerting news for dog walkers since it restricts canine access to the beaches, it is exciting to here of them in Winthrop and Revere.  

We are also hearing rumors of puffins on the Harbor Islands.  Below we post a picture of a Puffin off of Gloucester from the Boston harbor tours web-site. If you have information or pictures please send them to us. 

Photo: So lucky to have snapped a pic of this rare Atlantic Puffin sighting yesterday just 3 miles offshore of Gloucester! 

Share your ideas of what you think this Puffin is on the lookout for! 
Puffin Sighted off Gloucester By Boston Harbor Tours in January

Lets look forward a few years. How long will it before we have ospreys or even eagles on the islands? While I am sure Logan airport may not be thrilled about raptors. It is interesting to think about what could be. Squam Lake, NH has built a mini-tourism industry around the bald eagle nest and nesting loons. If we add biodiversity to Boston Harbor, even more tourists will come with the ancillary benefits to our economy.  

Below is the official DCR notice of the Piping Plovers.

Help Protect the Piping Plovers Returning to MA Beaches
WHAT:           The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) advises residents that the piping plover, a rare species of bird, has begun the spring return to Massachusetts beaches for nesting season. DCR and Mass Audubon work together to protect and conserve these plovers—a species so rare that it’s protected under both the Massachusetts and Federal Endangered Species Act—on our state beaches. Beachgoers can share the area with these beautiful birds and following a few tips can help keep the nesting birds and their young safe:
·         Please stay out of marked areas where plovers are nesting.
·         Keep in mind that dogs are not allowed on the beach between April 1 and September 30.
·         Watched out for piping plover eggs and chicks, as their size and coloring allows them to be easily lost against the sandy landscape. Their nests are also highly vulnerable to the actions of people and pets.
Successful early nesting is best for the piping plover, as it may allow the birds to leave the beaches early to begin their migration to less populated areas. Please be aware of your surroundings on any of DCR’s beaches or shore reservations this summer season.

WHEN:           Piping Plover Season begins April 1
                        Dogs are not allowed on the beaches April 1 – September 30

Revere Beach Reservation
Revere Beach Boulevard
Revere, MA
Winthrop Shore Reservation
Winthrop Shore Drive
Winthrop, MA

If you have any questions or to report an issue, please contact: or Dept. of Conservation & Recreation, Office of Public Outreach, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 600, Boston, MA  02114; Tel:(617)-626-4974
For more information on coastal bird conservation, please see or contact Mass Audubon’s Coastal Waterbird Program, at

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