In this July 12, 2007, file photo, an adult piping plover runs along a beach as waves lap on the shore in the Quonochontaug Conservation Area in Westerly, Rhode Island. Credit: Steven Senne / AP

Wildlife advocates predict this summer will bring another record high number of a rare species of bird to Maine’s beaches.

The piping plover nests in Maine and is listed as threatened along the East Coast by federal authorities. Recent signs, however, are encouraging.

Just 10 pairs of the birds were found in Maine in 1981, the first year of monitoring. Last year’s total swelled to 125.

Laura Minich Zitske, coastal bird program director for Maine Audubon, told the Portland Press Herald that this year looks likely to yield another record high.

There are a couple thousand piping plover pair nests from North Carolina to eastern Canada. They are small shorebirds that are vulnerable to predation from numerous animals, including larger wild birds and feral cats.