Cheryl Ferguson

2015 PIPL Chick from Nest #1 Spent Winter in Florida

Cheryl Ferguson Global News, Local News, Plover Lovers Committee, Sauble Beach

We’re waiting patiently for the Piping Plovers to return to Sauble Beach sometime this month. Meanwhile, we have learned that this 2015 chick from Nest 1 spent its first non-breeding season in Levy County (Gulf side, northern part of the peninsula-west of Gainsville), Florida. A special thank you to  Jordan Rutter from Great Lakes PIPL Recovery Effort for sharing this information with us.

This chick (foreground) hatched out on June 21, Father’s Day, which was also the first day of summer. Its ID bands are: upper left leg: USGS metal,  lower left: a split band with the colours dark blue over orange. The right upper leg has an orange band, the right lower leg has a dark blue band with the number (021) on it (X,B/O:O,B(021). Having a metal band on the left upper leg signifies that is a ‘northern’ bird.

The chick’s sibling has #023 on its leg band and both birds were seen foraging together frequently.  This photo was taken on July 22 when they were a month old. They were last seen at Sauble Beach on August 3.

None of the other 2015 Sauble Beach or 2014 Port Elgin chicks have been reported this year, but Jordan reminds us that this “does not indicate anything about their status. Finding a Great Lakes piping plover on the wintering grounds is like finding a needle in a haystack sometimes”. 

A special thank you to everyone involved in monitoring these birds, especially volunteers and people at the beach who were eager to ‘keep  an eye out for them’ – you know who you are!