Estimated Wild Population
Piping plovers are a small shorebird that can reach up to seven inches in length. During breeding season, males and females have a white underside, a brown back and wings, and thick black bands around their neck. During non-breeding season, their black bands become less pronounced. These birds feed primarily on insects and small aquatic invertebrates. They nest on the open beach and will perform an elaborate "broken wing" display to draw predators away from their nest.
Interesting Fact 1
Piping plovers hunt by sight and chase prey across the sand.
Interesting Fact 2
Males attract mates through elaborate courtship ceremonies that include tossing stones and diving through the air.
Interesting Fact 3
They leave their eggs in shallow scrapes in the sand, which are vulnerable to beach construction, as well as visiting dogs and people.
Commitment to Care
Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.
Support Your Zoo
Animals Depend On People Too
When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.
The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.
Take Action With Us
Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.