Dear PiPl Friends,
We are overjoyed to share that our Super Mom and Dad have reunited!
Early last week while checking on Plovers, it appeared as though one of the sets of Plover tracks was our Super Mom. The day was very windy and the tracks were disappearing as I was filming however, they looked like tracks made by a peg leg. Later in the week, I spotted the pair we have been seeing since the last week in March. Because of the cold and wind they had been laying low. But sure enough, as soon as the female moved, it was clear she was our handicapped Mom!
Handicapped Mom’s tracks
I think it’s truly extraordinary that our handicapped Mom has twice been able to make the round trip migration south to north and north to south, despite her missing digits. With her missing toes, she has had to totally adapt in how she walks, runs, stands, forages, nests, preens and even how she mates.
Wildlife can be remarkably resilient. I am reminded of the Great Lakes Old Man Plover, one of the oldest Plovers on record. When he was about 11 years old, he lost the toes on his left leg, just like our Super Mom has lost hers on her right leg. He continued to return to Sleeping Bear Dunes until 2017, when he disappeared.He was fifteen years old when last seen.
We also have a handsome bachelor who is actively calling for a mate. Hopefully his loud piping will entice a migrating female to check out GHB!
One Plover has been spotted at Cape Hedge by Plover Ambassador Paula. The weather was cold and windy and the PiPl was difficult to see from a distance whether male or female.
Piping Plovers are extremely vulnerable to disturbance while trying to establish their nests. If you see them on the beach, give them a nod, but please give them lots and lots of space. We all thank you for your kind consideration!
Nest-making – Dad on the left, our Mom with her missing foot on the right
If you would like to join our Piping Plover Ambassador group, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment in the comment section and I will get back to you. Thank you.