Tiny Piping Plover chicks weigh about as much as a nickel at the time of hatching. Although capable of running about within a few hours after pushing out of their eggshells, one-day-old chicks are extraordinarily vulnerable. They are also adorably funny as they learn how to navigate the varied beach terrain and to forage for food. The hatchlings study their out-sized feet, stretch tiny wing buds, fall into mini fox holes, and tumble over even while only trying to scratch themselves. It’s not easy being one-day-old!
Mom and Dad spend a great deal of time helping the chicks to regulate their body temperature, especially in the earliest days of the chick’s life. In the last clips, Dad calls to the four siblings to warm up under his downy soft underwing feathers. And by the way, Plover Dads are truly super heroes in the life story of the Piping Plover, co-parenting equally, and even then some.
The footage in this short is from the forthcoming film, The Piping Plovers of Moonlight Bay. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our online fundraiser to help complete our documentary. Filming is finished however, post-production and festival costs have sky-rocketed; they are much greater than when we released our sister film project about species at risk, Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly. Without our community’s help, we could not have launched Beauty on the Wing. Working with the community to produce Beauty on the Wing made it far more meaningful.
We are deeply appreciative of any gifts given. Thank you.