Revere protects its smallest residents, the Piping Plovers

Parts of Revere Beach are fenced off to protect nesting piping plovers. (Spenser R. Hasak)

REVERE — Tucked away in the seagrass on Revere Beach, a tiny talloned foot reaches out from behind the safety of its home, guarded by the security of rope and blue triangular flags.

It’s barely noticeable when a ball of white fluff ventures to the shore in search of a meal, tiny cotton balls in tow.

But notice it, says the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Those roped-off areas are protected by The Department of Conservation and Recreation Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, in accordance with Federal Endangered Species Act, to preserve sections for —Piping Plovers.

According to, the birds are threatened or endangered. The small, white fluffy birds with short beaks nest on sandy beaches and tidal flats near water. The birds feed on insects, marine worms, and crustaceans. Many of their nesting areas are subject to human disturbance or other threats.

The birds migrate to Massachusetts every year to mate, nest, and feed.

Revere Beach is among 450,000 acres of property, such as parks, forests, reservations and beaches, maintained by DCR. In an effort to save the threatened shorebird, DCR, in compliance with state and federal mandates, has installed fencing at the beach since 2007. The fencing is made of gray fiberglass poles with blue triangular signs and orange twine to be minimally invasive to the human eye. In turn, beachgoers should avoid invading the tiny bird’s home.

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