Gizzard Contents of Piping Plover Chicks in Northern Michigan

photo of a piping ploverAbstract

F.J. Cuthbert, B. Scholtens, L. C. Wemmer, and R. McLain . 1999. Gizzard Contents of Piping Plover Chicks in Northern Michigan. Wilson Bulletin 111(1): 121-123

The diet of Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus) is not well known and information on diet requirements will enhance food resource assessment and identification of suitable habitat for this rare species. Discovery of four dead Piping Plover chicks at Grand Marais, Michigan, allowed us to examine their digestive tracts for identifiable prey. Gizzard contents represented 16 families in 6 orders or freshwater and terrestrially occurring insects confirming behavioral observations that plover chicks opportunistically capture insects in shallow water and along shorelines. The most commonly taken orders were Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, and Diptera.