Sunday, August 3, 2008

cute is where it's at

I've always said that the major thing piping plovers have going for them is cuteness. Now that Birdchick has posted the definitive cuteness of the piping plover entry there is no reason for me to go on with this blog let alone write my darn book. I've been wasting my days explaining their lifecycle and habitat choice to endless beach visitors. I should've just convinced one to yawn for the camera. :-)

The location on which Birdchick and the legendary Julie Zickefoose encountered these little bundles of cuteness, South Beach in Chatham, usually has the largest or one of the largest piping plover population in Massachusetts. It also doesn't usually have as much of a problem with washovers from storm tides as some of the other Cape Cod beaches . It's interesting to me that the South Beach population had such late nesters. We had two late nests (as you may have gleaned from my last entry). I've heard tales of other late nests along east/north facing beaches this year too even though this year has not had the terrible storms we had a couple of years ago. I'm guessing the re-nesters on South Beach lost their first nest to predation rather than washover, but I wasn't there. Just guessing.

Also, another cool thing in Birdchick's video is that you can hear least terns in the background. Piping plovers that nest close to least tern colonies generally succeed at fledging young at a far better rate than those that don't nest near least terns. Now of course Birdchick and company will tell me I need my hearing checked and that those are common terns I'm hearing. Maybe it's a sound compression artefact.

Anyway, the piping plover is the cutest bird on the planet and if anything can get people to care it will be the cuteness factor.

1 comment:

Turtle Girl said...

I miss Chatham! That was my first piping plover nest beach -- here we just have PIPL wintering habitat and snowy plovers nesting. Those snowies are pretty adorable too!