Piping plovers: They may be cute, delicate and very endangered, but do they have to ruin America’s birthday? The town of Duxbury has cancelled its Fourth of July beach party because of concerns visitors would trample the endangered birds’ nests.

WBZ has the skinny:

The endangered piping plover bird has moved-in and there are at least 24 nests on Duxbury Beach. There are large areas of the beach that are restricted. The town’s July 4th committee said usually a couple thousand people attend the celebration and there is no way to ensure the nests will not get trampled, so the bonfire is cancelled.

“The plovers are federally protected. We have to follow the law,” said Margaret Kearney, Duxbury 4th of July activities committee

Piping Plovers were once abundant along the Atlantic coast, but were nearly hunted out of existence. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the birds were highly sought after for “the millinery trade.”

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Essentially, we tried to make every Piping Plover into a hat. And now there are fewer than 2,000 pairs of birds left. So this is kind of our fault.

The Plovers are also very skittish. Excessive human disturbance can cause the birds to abandon their nests, eggs and chicks. That’s why there’s no beach party on Duxbury Beach this year or last.

But the good people of Duxbury aren’t going to let some selfish anti-American birds ruin their Fourth.

Wicked Local Duxbury reports:

Despite the party being canceled, the committee is still excited about the Fourth of July parade, [Fourth of July committee member Margaret] Kearney said.

“There’s still the parade and road race in the morning on the day of the Fourth,” she said. “It is a fun weekend in Duxbury.”