While on a walk at the beach I noticed the roped off area and the wire cage enclosures for the piping plover nests. As I continued walking I noticed an adult piping plover and 3 little chicks running on the sand. I knew the piping plover was on the endangered list and there have been efforts to increase their numbers. Besides that I did not know too much about the little birds.
As I continued walking I came upon a young woman writing in a notepad and looking through binoculars. She told me monitoring the piping plovers was her summer job and that she had recently graduated with a masters in biology. She explained that they put the wire cage over the nests to help protect the eggs from predators(gulls, fox, dogs, cats, raccoons). She also described how the plovers can be frightened by people and especially dogs. We were excited to see a couple nests with 3 or 4 eggs on the sand. Sometimes a predator will get the eggs and the plover can have another 3 to 4 eggs about a month later. It takes about 24 days for the new chicks to fly.
After learning many new facts about the piping plover I left the beach with a greater understanding of why the beach areas are roped off during the summer months. I hope other people will read the signs and keep their dogs away from the plover nesting areas.
I’m planning an oil or acrylic painting of the plovers and their nests, they are cute little birds.