Piping Plover Film Project

Director’s Statement

The Piping Plovers of Moonlight Bay is a 55-minute narrated documentary that tells the story of Pippi and Big Papi Plover and their blended family of chicks. Told through the adventures of an extraordinary pair of birds, experience the life story of the Piping Plover, from courtship to nesting to fledging to migration. Learn how we can all become stewards of these vulnerable, yet courageous, tiny threatened nesting shorebirds.

In May of 2016, I began documenting Cape Ann’s Piping Plovers. What began as a quick trip to Good Harbor Beach to capture a few moments of footage of the recently arrived Plovers, for an entirely different project about Cape Ann wildlife, became, over time, the greatly expanded project that it is today. From that very first visit, it was apparent the birds were struggling under the pressures of human and dog disturbance.

We formed a volunteer Piping Plover Ambassador to better help the Plovers nest at one of the region’s most popular seaside destinations. Working with our community and City government, we successfully advocated to change City-wide ordinances and install adequate protective measures to give the Plovers the best chance of survival. During the nesting season, the Ambassadors provide round the clock stewardship of the shorebirds.

As are most regions along the length of the Eastern Seaboard, the area north of Boston lies within a largely unrestricted north-south corridor for migratory species of birds and butterflies. Birds, butterflies, and other insects travel along the Atlantic Flyway without being impeded by large mountain ranges to cross. There is great beauty to be found in this great movement of life

Birds help us better understand the world around us. The majority of bird species nests far away from human eyes, in the Arctic, or high up in a leafy tree, where we will never see their beautiful story. We are sublimely fortunate for the opportunity to witness the life story of the Piping Plover as it unfolds along the northern coastline of the Atlantic Ocean.

The film footage, photos, and journals have provided the basis for the film and children’s book about Atlantic Coast Piping Plovers. While the film is in production, I have created a lecture program and am offering that freely to our community. Please see below for a synopsis of the program and links to hundreds of stories about the threatened Piping Plover.

Piping Plover Trailer and Shorts

Life Story of the Piping Plover

From courtship to nesting to fledging, every aspect of the Piping Plover’s life story is presented. We’ll also cover the current status of the bird’s population, learn about where Piping Plovers spend the winter, and how communities can work together to help Piping Plovers survive even the busiest of beaches. Through Kim Smith’s photo journal work on the threatened Piping Plover, we gain a better understanding of how best to help this tiniest, but most resilient, of shorebirds, as it breeds and migrates along the Atlantic Coast.

For more information about presenting, please contact Kim Smith at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com

For more information about the Piping Plover Film Project and to find links to dozens of articles, please go here Piping Plover Film Project at Kim Smith Films