Our Piping Plover chicks began hatching yesterday afternoon. The fourth chick hatched today at 7:50am. We have all been on pins and needles and are overjoyed that all four babies appear to be healthy and vigorous.
Hopping over the yet-to-hatch egg and testing out tiny wing buds
Piping Plovers lend true meaning to the expression “take under a protective wing.”
With thanks and gratitude to Joe Lucido and our amazing DPW, Gloucester’ s conservation agent Ken Whittaker, Mayor Sefatia, Dave Rimmer from Greenbelt, Jonathan and Jasmine from Mass Wildlife, and to all our volunteers (especially Heather Hall who has been at the GHB parking lot every single day for several hours) for helping us get this far. Now the truly challenging phase begins, which is helping the chicks grow to the next stage of life. Piping Plover Chicks fledge on average at about 35 days, which is almost to the day when last year’s Little Chick departed our shores.
We were hoping to keep the hatching on the down low for a few days, but the PiPl is out of the bag, so to speak. Volunteer Piping Plovers are most definitely needed. Please contact Ken Whittaker at firstname.lastname@example.org
The first to venture out of the exclosure (at 7am this morning). Piping Plovers are precocial birds, which means that within hours after hatching they are mobile and relatively mature. Piping Plover chicks begin to feed themselves within the first 24 hours after hatching.
Kenny Ryan, Cindy Frost, Cliff King, and Joe Lucido
DPW Crew laying out the temporarily restricted parking area. The cordoned off zone will be in place this weekend and until the PiPl migrate to the beach.
Cliff King and Jasmine Weber – Jasmine joined the team yesterday. She is an intern at Mass Wildlife and will be with us all weekend.
Early this morning the Bachelor appeared on the scene, again, causing yet another kerfuffle. Papa leapt off the nest and chased him away, with a good bit of ruffled feathers.
A few more snapshots–see how adorable they are–wouldn’t you like to be a Piping Plover monitor this upcoming month ❤