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Birds vs. beachgoers

While piping plovers are nesting on Duxbury Beach, Sophie Dubuisson acts as a bird monitor, keeping people away from the threatened species.
While piping plovers are nesting on Duxbury Beach, Sophie Dubuisson acts as a bird monitor, keeping people away from the threatened species.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

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Closures of Duxbury Beach to protect piping plovers, a shorebird on state and federal endangered species lists, are nothing new. This year, however, unusual beach conditions after the winter storms have led to an exceptionally high number of nesting pairs, leading to wider closures.

The drive-on portion of the beach is closed to traffic, possibly until July 15, much to the chagrin of residents and nonresidents who doled out $160 and $295, respectively, for stickers to park on the sand.

But according to the Duxbury harbormaster, bird monitors, who keep beachgoers away from plover nests, are the reason the beach can stay open at all.

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