Between April 2014 and August 2015, we observed 4 Charadrius melodus (Piping Plover) consume small, dead fish, including Anchoa mitchilli (Bay Anchovy) on New York barrier islands. These observations are among the first documented evidence of vertebrate prey in Piping Plover diets. While fish consumption is an opportunistic and infrequent occurrence, this behavior may supplement important nutrients in the diet of Piping Plovers in areas without access to high-quality food resources. Further diet analyses are necessary to understand the importance and relative contribution of fish as a prey resource for endangered Piping Plovers.
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Vol. 23 • No. 3