Piping Plover Nesting Success!

I saw the first Piping Plover chicks of the season during our International Shorebird Survey last week.  A casual observer could easily miss these fluffy little Ping-Pong balls on stilts, they are that well camouflaged.  After close observation, we saw two complete families of both parents and four chicks each before we stopped the survey to avoid any distress to the endangered Least Terns that are nesting at the end of the Point.  The Plover parents were running to and fro in their attempts to keep the active little chicks in sight.  Predators abound.  Great Black-backed Gulls would make a quick snack of these birds and we saw six of them nearby.  Fortunately there was a large dead fish on the shore, so I hope the Gulls will preferentially go to that easy meal.  I wrote about the Piping Plovers last summer.  To see that post and for more on these birds click here.  They are State and Federally listed as “threatened.”  We will return next week to count again.  Chick viability can be low, with all the dogs, cats, humans, raccoon, possums, gulls and who know what else, that prey on these tiny birds.

Papa Plover keeps a watchful eye on his chick

Papa Plover keeps a watchful eye on his chick (photo courtesy of Bill Batsford)

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    selah said,

    sure is a cute little thing, and well camouflaged indeed.

    Like

  2. 2

    Carla said,

    Plovers are cute from chicks through adulthood. Precious little beauties. Carla

    Like

  3. 3

    Doug said,

    Just as cute as cute could be!

    Like


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