UPDATE On Piping Plovers and Moonbird

UPDATE On Piping Plovers and Moonbird
It isn’t easy being a Piping plover. At a NJ beach where we follow the birds, there were 11 chicks hatched but just 2 that have fledged. Not a great success rate piping+pliver for an endangered species. A major factor is too much human disturbance, including dogs on the beach, which separated the chicks from their parents and made them vulnerable to crow and gull snatchings.  It also kept them from being able to get to the shoreline to eat during the day.

Researchers like Emily Heiser (State University NY), are trying to find out more about Piping plovers and are putting temporary transmitters on their backs, which fall off naturally, to see where they go.  Longer term they will be able to see how far the Emily_piping_plover y fly, but while the chicks are still small the information is a lot more personal.  The mom in a family with one surviving chick left for a break for a few days before the chick had fledged.  When she returned, the dad wasn’t very happy about her vacation — she left him to feed and defend their chick on his own.  When she returned he wouldn’t let her back into the family. Now it’s just dad and the chick, and mom on the sidelines.

B95_red_knotThat amazing bird, Red knot, B-95 aka Moonbird, was recently seen in the Mingan Archepeligo in Montreal, starting the return leg of his 19,000+ mile roundtrip migration. We’ll keep you posted as he moves along his route to Tierra del Fuego.  Go Moonbird!

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