The piping plover is a small, sand-colored, migratory shorebird that is listed as threatened or endangered throughout its range. In Montana, plovers nest on sparsely vegetated sand and gravel bars along the Missouri River as well as along the edges of alkali wetlands and sloughs in the northeastern part of the state.
Fewer than 2,800 breeding pairs of piping plovers were reported in the U.S. and Canada in 1995. The Great Lakes population is classified as endangered, while two other populations are classed as threatened. [Learn more]