The Piping Plover is an endangered species. Its worldwide population was estimated at less than 6,000 individuals in 2001 - the latest year for figures.
Loss of nesting habitat due to human development has been the chief threat to its survival. However in some areas (notably the Northeastern US Atlantic states) its population has stabilized and even made slight gains due to aggressive protective measures.
I didn't bother this one for too long or try to get too close; I snapped a few quick shots and let him get back to finding breakfast.