Annual South Carolina Midwinter Piping Plover Census

This year's Census takes place from February 8-12, 2009.

The Cape Romain Bird Observatory, with state, federal, nonprofit and volunteer partners, is organizing an annual one-day "snapshot" census of wintering Piping Plovers in SC. Piping Plovers are endangered/threatened shorebirds whose wintering grounds include the SC coast.

This project aims to simultaneously survey all known Piping Plover habitat along the South Carolina coast during a four-day period each February.

The Project's timing, methods and data sheets are based on those used for the International Piping Plover Census, which is held every five years. We are approximating IPPC methodology so the annual SC census data will be useful in conjunction with past & future IPPC results (for SC). These documents and sage advice are being provided by Anne Hecht, the Atlantic Piping Plover recovery coordinator for the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Sidney Maddock and Bruce Peterjohn (USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center) have also provided valuable advice regarding census details.

If you are an expert birder who can be relied upon to follow census rules & procedures (especially those that prevent disturbing Piping Plovers), your participation in this project is welcome. We have both boat and shore parties in need of additional participants.

For more information, email