As of last week, we currently have a total of 125 piping plovers on the refuge beach! This includes 36 pairs, 6 single plovers, and 47 chicks. It’s very likely we have more chicks on the beach, but full broods were not detected in some cases. I believe unsuccessful nesting pairs are beginning to leave their territories and move freely around the beach, or even to a different beach since they haven’t been seen for several surveys and groups of non-territorial foraging birds have been observed.
There are currently 13 active nests. I believe there are still a few pairs that are attempting to nest one or have a nest to be found.
Furthermore, there was a high count of 50 least terns seen in the colony. No chicks observed yet.
Big thanks to intern Jesse and biologist Nancy for covering nest checks and surveying in the latter half of last week!
Note: Featured image/photograph is from a collection of Dan Graovac, President, Board of Directors, Merrimack River Watershed Council.