One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals


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PIPL Male by Log SB

 “Piping Plovers at Sauble Beach and Oliphant.”

A few years ago, that headline appeared in the Saugeen Times of Saugeen Shores. To area birders this was significant news. To Stew Nutt of Southampton it was especially significant. He stated, “We are celebrating the Piping Plover’s return to the Canadian shores of Lake Huron”. Their presence so close to home marked the beginning of a quest by Stew to lead in the efforts to see that the Plover’s return would become an annual event, helping to secure their survival. Under that headline came an article by author and birding expert Mick Pickup that went on to describe Stew’s involvement with the plovers.

Image 6Volunteers with guidance from Stew Nutt of Southampton have undertaken to monitor the birds on a daily basis at both sites. Their duties are to protect the birds from predation, human disturbance, educate beach visitors about the status of the birds and to cooperate with the municipality, local residents and cottagers, MNR and CWS in protecting the birds and their habitat. From the middle of May to the beginning of August, many volunteers have generously donated their time to this project…

To which Stew has commented: StewSometimes, we are presented with unique opportunities that can change our lives. For me this opportunity came in the summer of 2007 when the endangered Piping Plovers arrived and established a nest at Sauble Beach. These birds build their nests, mere scrapes in the sand, on the beach close to the shoreline and usually in the same area. This becomes their habitat for feeding, nesting and raising young. Such habitats are mostly inhospitable for survival as many beach areas are used for beach and water-based recreation. They are also of course used for development.  As such Piping Plovers are struggling to survive. They are forced to battle the elements, human encroachment, and many predators. As a special event at this year’s Huron Fringe Birding Festival I invite you to join me as we travel to the nesting area(s) at Sauble Beach and observe the plovers’ behaviors including: courtship, feeding, life history, territorial displays and fierce protection will be observed and/or explained as well as local attempts to protect this delicate species. Be a ‘Plover Lover’! Sign up for A17 – 7:30 AM – SATURDAY, MAY 24 – or B23 – 1:30 PM – SATURDAY, MAY 31 – THE TALE OF THE PIPING PLOVER and experience the unique, fragile world of these special birds and what is being done to help this species survive.

PIPL Female Brooding 1 SB

For up-to-date information on the progress of the Piping Plovers at Sauble Beach click on:

Image 3

Stewart Nutt is a retired educator and local naturalist who led the Piping Plover recovery project for five years. His Piping Plover knowledge was gained through countless hours of both personal and project participant observations, along with current information from visiting longer established projects in Michigan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

PIPL  Chick Trying to Fly


Take a up-close look at the what you can expect to experience at this year’s Huron Fringe Birding Festival click on:

Recognized as One of Ontario's Top 100 Festivals

 One of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals




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