PIPING PLOVER UPDATE: CELEBRATING DAY TEN!

My, what big feet you have little chick.

Thank you to all who are watching out for the Good Harbor Beach Piping Plover Family! Reports throughout the day from the Piping Plover monitors tell of folks who are curious and interested in the welfare of the chicks. One of our little babies has gone missing, but the three remaining are doing beautifully. They are growing rapidly and getting better at following the parent’s voice commands. In the early morning and evening, for the most part, the chicks go in and out of the symbolic roped off area. During the heat of the day, the chicks stay closer to the grassy dune edge, seeking shade from the sun.

At sunrise this morning it was foggy and chilly. The chicks needed extra cuddling under Mom (ten-day-old chicks).

Interestingly, there is a male interloper. He was first reported by my husband about a month ago, when Tom called and said you have to get down here because the Piping Plovers are fighting! I hurried over, and sure enough an epic battle was taking place between our nesting pair and the strange male. I filmed the fighting, which went on for about half an hour, when Mama Joy and Papa Joe chased the interloper far out to sea. Unfortunately, the “third wheel” keeps reappearing, almost daily. I write unfortunately because as is the case with so many episodes that play out in the life of our little Plover family, when the adults are distracted by a perceived threat and leave the chicks, it makes it easier for a predator, such as a crow or seagull, to swoop in and carry off a baby. Later in the summer, as the Plovers are preparing to migrate south, the fledglings and adults will gather in larger groups, but at this point in the chicks development, the pesky interloper is clearly not welcome.

Eight-day-old chick. Could you be any better camouflaged little Plover?

 

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