Cape Gazette
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Piping plover chicks close to fledging at the Point

Relocated oystercatcher brood may have moved further up Rehoboth Bay near Inlet
Jul 09, 2013

As of July 1, piping plover monitors noted that three chicks and their parents had set up foraging territory along the shore of Gordons Pond and have been seen regularly there.

Over at the Point, three pairs of plovers have hatched chicks. One pair has three chicks and another has one; the third pair’s chick had not been spotted for about a week. “The four chicks have been seen stretching their little proto-wings, so we anticipate they will be learning to fly in the next two weeks,” said Division of Fish and wildlife biologist Matthew Bailey.

Two additional pairs of plovers are still incubating eggs on the Point, with the first nest’s estimated hatch date around July 5. The second nest was found on June 23. Both nests are likely renests and have three eggs each, Bailey added.

In other beachnester bird news, least terns are attempting to establish a colony inside the closed area at Gordons Pond, with as many as 50 adults seen defending the area.

At Delaware Seashore State Park, the American oystercatcher brood that was relocated to the west side of Route 1 June 12 could be the same brood recently spotted about a half mile northwest of where they were released.

“Traveling a distance of a half mile is not unheard of, since oystercatcher chicks can be very mobile,” Bailey said. “The brood could have moved that far while foraging for food.”

No signs of additional beach-nesting activity have been found between Indian River Inlet and Tower Road.

For more information on beachnesting birds and monitoring efforts, contact Bailey at 302-382-4151 or matthew.bailey@state.de.us.

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