Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus) typically nest on unvegetated sand or gravel substrates throughout their breeding range. We report on the atypical habitat characteristics of four Piping Plover nests that we found amongst young cottonwood (Populus deltoides) saplings on a sandbar island in the Missouri River along the South Dakota-Nebraska border. Atypical habitat use could have implications for estimating demographic parameters and management of this protected species. It is important to explore the extent to which Piping Plovers use atypical breeding habitat throughout their range and the quality of this potentially poor habitat.
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Vol. 30 • No. 2