The Piping Plovers of Moonlight Bay

Come discover the wondrous story of the Piping Plovers of Moonlight Bay. Told through the adventures of Pippi and Papi Plover, and their blended family of chicks, experience the heartwarming story of the Piping Plover, from courtship to nesting to fledging to migration.

Piping Plovers are a sentinel species. They are a bellwether of how successfully wildlife and people interface with one another, especially in light of the growing threat of habitat loss. These remarkably resilient birds are well adapted to life on the beach, but without adequate protective measures, Piping Plovers are extremely vulnerable to human and predator disturbances.

We are inspired by the beauty of the Plover's life story and also highly aware of the formidable challenges these valiant little birds face at every stage of life.

Learn how we can all become stewards of these pocket-sized, nonetheless, courageous, threatened shorebirds.

Coming in the fall of 2023. The sweetest story around!

  • Kim Smith
    Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly
  • Kim Smith
    Beauty on the Wing: Life Stroy of the Monarch Butterfly
  • Kim Smith
    Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2024
  • Production Budget:
    100,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    HD 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Kim Smith

Kim Smith is a documentary filmmaker, wildlife conservationist, lecturer, photojournalist, author, illustrator, and an award winning landscape designer.

"The Piping Plovers of Moonlight Bay" is a feature-length narrated documentary coming in the fall of 2023.

"Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly," a narrated documentary, premiered in August 2020.

Since its premier, "Beauty on the Wing" has received a number of honors and awards at environmental film festivals and children's film festivals. "Beauty on the Wing" was awarded Best Documentary at the Boston International Kids Festival in November 2020, Best Feature Film at the Providence Children's Film Festival in February 2021, and received the environmental award at the Toronto International Women Film Festival in May 2021. One of the greatest hopes for the film is that it would be inspirational and educational to both adults and young people and we are overjoyed "Beauty on the Wing" is finding its audience.

In March 2020 Kim created a series of short films about the Snowy Owl:

Kim was recently interviewed by the BBC and PBS for her work in documenting the Monarch Butterflies. She worked with the show’s producers in writing and creating the story, providing film footage from her film "Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly" for the BBC produced show “Autumnwatch: New England.”

In May of 2019, Kim was featured in Audubon Magazine for her work protecting and documenting Piping Plovers, “How Plover Chicks Born in a Parking Lot Spurred a City to Make Its Beach Safer.” Kim leads a group in safeguarding local populations of Piping Plovers and is currently creating a documentary about Plovers.

In April 2018 Kim was honored to receive the Salem State University “Friend of the Earth Award” and to give the keynote address for the University’s Earth Day Weeks events program. In 2017 she was named an Essex National Heritage Trailblazer and became an Essex Heritage Commissioner in recognition of her work connecting people to place.

Her short films, "A Flight of Monarchs," which was created for the Berkshire Museum, and "BomBom Butterflies," have won critical acclaim. Her 45-minute documentary Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly is an inspirational story that both teaches about butterfly life cycles and reveals the connection between pollinators, plants, and the importance of conserving habitats.

In conjunction with Cambridge Seven Associates architectural firm, Kim designed the award-winning Gloucester HarborWalk Butterfly gardens. She specializes in creating pollinator habitat gardens utilizing primarily North American native wildflowers, trees, shrubs, and vines.

Her book on landscape design, "Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities!," which she both wrote and illustrated, was published by David R. Godine, Boston.

For more information on Kim’s films and design projects follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Vimeo, and Twitter and visit her website Kim Smith's blog has an average daily readership of 12,000 viewers.

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Director Statement

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.