Friday, May 23, 2014

Piping Plovers and Harassment

Piping plover on the beach
When you read the title, I bet the first thing you thought was that the piping plovers were being harassed by people or dogs.  Well, you were wrong.

Today I visited Allens Pond, first, to set up some programs for the upcoming summer and to go down and see if my piping plovers were nesting again.  Yes, for the fifth year in a row, the piping plovers on nesting near the walkway to the beginning of the beach loop.

When I arrived the first thing I noticed were Killdeer running around behind the roped off area and when I took a good look, there were two adults and four chicks.  As I watch and photograph them, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a white object moving.  It turned out to be a piping plover.

Killdeer, looking for its chicks and also the piping plovers

Killdeer chick

Killdeer chick parading down the beach
In fact, there were a pair of them.  Now as the killdeer started moving down the beach toward where the piping plovers were, once the killdeer noticed the plover it began to chase them.  One of the plovers try to make the killdeer follow him, while the other plover went back to try to sit on the nest.  The harassment continued until the Killdeer went further down the beach and finally the plover was able to sit on its nest.  From the distance, I saw at least one egg in the nest.  After reviewing the photos there are 3 eggs present in the nest.  I also found out this is the second episode of egg laying . These plovers lost their first set of eggs.  Hopefully, the killdeer will move out and the piping plovers can nest in peace.
Piping plover looking out for a Killdeer

Piping plover nest with three eggs

Piping plover coming back to sit on the eggs

Piping plover sitting on the eggs

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