Painted: April 12, 2017
About the Bird: An endearing little shorebird, as pale as dry sand, the Piping Plover lives in surroundings that make it vulnerable to changes in climate. Most of its range is along coastal beaches likely to be engulfed by rising sea levels. In the interior, some place their nests on river sandbars, but changes in weather patterns mean those rivers may flood at inopportune times for the plovers. Read more about how plover populations are tracked here.
About the Artist: “My childhood memories are filled with images of these tiny birds running in tandem with the waterline,” says Colleen Smith of Piping Plovers. Raised on the New Jersey coast just south of the Pine Barrens, Smith grew up fascinated by her geographical position between two distinctly different ecosystems—a feeling that is reflected in the dream-like worlds the painter creates. "One of my favorite childhood memories was going for walks with my dad through conservation areas that featured protected nesting grounds for these little birds," she says, "and I hope that their numbers continue to rise.”