MEET THE GOOD HARBOR BEACH PIPING PLOVER BABY CHICKS!

Please help get the word out that the Good  Harbor Piping Plover chicks have hatched and that they are extremely vulnerable. Feel free to share these photos on social media.Piping Plovers chicks nestlings babies Kim Smith

Monday Day One: Judging from when the nest was first spotted, I had a feeling the Plovers were going to hatch Monday. The morning was drizzly and foggy and it was difficult to see into the nest but there appeared to be more activity than usual. By the time I returned later in the afternoon it was a wonder and joy to see all three Plovers had hatched!

Unlike songbirds, the Piping Plover chicks leave the nest almost immediately. They are not fed by the adults and begin to forage for insects in the sand soon after hatching. Although only hours old, they can run, and run they do, looking mostly like jet propelled cotton balls.

Piping Plovers chicks nestlings babes copyright Kim Smith 6-11-16

The chicks snuggle under Dad. Both Mom and Dad take turns guarding the nestlings, in thirty minute intervals, just as they did when on the nest waiting for the babies to hatch. 

Piping Plover chicks Mom Dad copyright Kim Smith 6-12-16Dad (left) and Mom (right) changing guard.

Tuesday Day Two:

Piping Plover chicks nestlings -3 copyright Kim Smith 6-12-16Miniature rockets zooming over miniature sand mounds, running so fast, they’ll often land in a face plant.  I captured a somersault on film!Piping Plover chicks nestlings copyright Kim Smith 6-12-16

Nature’s camouflage in hues of sand and dune.

Piping Plover chicks nestlings -2 copyright Kim Smith 6-12-16

Mom and chick, all three survive day number two!

Read More Here

Wednesday Day Three:

Piping Plover chicks nestlings copyright Kim Smith 6-13-16Dad and chick, the eyes appear to be opening wider.

Piping Plover chicks nestlings -4 copyright Kim Smith 6-13-16The downy feathers are fluffing out and growing thicker.

Piping Plover chicks male -3 copyright Kim Smith 6-13-16

The cordoned off area at Good Harbor has not been raked since the Plover nesting site was established, which has created small tumbles of dried grass and seaweed. This natural debris creates the ideal insect habitat. Insects are the primary food of the Piping Plover chicks.

Thursday Day Four:

Piping Plover chicks nestlings -4 copyright Kim Smith 6-14-16No longer in the roped off area and heading toward the shoreline, much to the dismay of Mom and Dad.

Piping Plover chicks nestlings -3 copyright Kim Smith 6-14-16

Piping Plover chicks nestlings beach copyright Kim Smith 6-14-16The nest is abandoned but depressions in the sand, when nestled under Dad or Mom, offer camouflage and shelter from predators.

Piping Plover chicks nestlings -2 copyright Kim Smith 6-14-16First sips at the water’s edge

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