- Associated Press - Sunday, May 25, 2014

COLEHARBOR, N.D. (AP) - The Audubon National Wildlife Refuge has closed the auto tour route due to the nesting activity of the piping plover.

The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1r69r0Y ) reports the route will remained closed to the public until the young leave the nest.

The piping plover is a small, stocky shorebird with a sand-colored upper body, a white underside and orange legs.

Jackie Jacobson is the refuge’s visitor services manager. Jacobson tells the newspaper that the plovers typically seek out wide, flat, open, sandy beaches with very little vegetation. But the plovers can nest on gravel roads in years of high water levels when traditional nesting areas are not available.

Jacobsen says the plovers will abandon their nests in the presence of humans.

Updates on the closure can be found at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/audubon .

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com