Stein spent last summer as an intern at the Coastal Waterbird Program of Massachusetts Audubon. Her focus was surveying the behaviors and reproductive success of piping plovers and least terns. The exhibit offers a glimpse into the life histories of several individuals of these two endangered bird species along the beaches of Cape Cod Bay.

A bourne chick on the shore

Writes Stein, “These photographs represent the common behaviors of these endangered bird species as well as the beautiful areas of my home region I was fortunate to explore this past summer while gaining a new understanding of the wildlife that lives there.”

Photographs include a concerned piping plover parent sheltering its offspring from the footfalls of a nearby beachgoer and a least tern chick testing its parents’ patience by wandering a few inches outside the family territory. They also clearly show the birds’ use of camouflage to protect its young.

Unexpectedly, Stein also relays the harrowing story of a July 4 party that trashed the protected area, using fence posts for kindling. The drama of that experience is counteracted by Stein’s witnessing of the very first steps of one chick.

For more information on the exhibit, on view through February 28, contact Allyson Stein at, or the museum at 207-288-5395.

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