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The federally-threatened piping plover is a small, stocky shorebird resembling a sandpiper. They use wide, flat, open, sandy beaches with very little grass or other vegetation. Nesting territories often include small creeks or wetlands. The piping plover breeds on the northern Great Plains, in the Great Lakes, and along the Atlantic coast (Newfoundland to North Carolina); and winters on the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts from North Carolina to Mexico, and in the Bahamas West Indies.