Nature Matters: License Plates Help Shore Birds

By KBJR News 1

July 9, 2013 Updated Jul 9, 2013 at 9:56 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)
The Killdeer should get an Oscar for best acting in the bird kingdom.
This apparently injured bird does not need a trip to Wildwoods animal rehab center.

"No, that bird is perfectly fine. It is their way to get predators away from their babies." said Katie Fritz of Great Lakes Aquarium.

The Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth has a Killdeer for people to watch.
June, as she's called, can't do the broken wing trick, however.

"She was in a car collision and she is missing one of her wings." said Fritz.

"Though Killdeer can live several miles away from a body of water, they're considered shore birds. Minnesotans interested in preserving Killdeer habitat can do so in two ways. One is by checking on their tax returns the non–game wildlife fund. The other is by buying critical habitat license plates."
They're part of a program called Reinvest in Minnesota or RIM. said reporter Dave Anderson.

"The dollars from the RIM program have allowed us to acquire park parcels, aquatic management areas, scientific and natural areas all over the state." said Mike Halverson of the MN DNR.

Killdeer are cousins to the piping plover which is endangered.
Killdeer are not which may be a sign that its broken wing ploy works.
Katie Fritz at the Great Lakes Aquarium believes the RIM program works, too.

"Particularly when we think of near shore habitat and restoring habitat not just for us but for the needs of our ecosystem that we're a major part of." said Fritz.

In Duluth for Nature Matters, Dave Anderson, KBJR 6 and Range 11.

If you'd like to visit June the Killdeer at the Great Lakes Aquarium, you have a week at best to do so.
She's going to be transferred to an out of state facility to be with other shore birds.

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