Piping plovers start arriving here on their eastern seaboard breeding grounds anytime between late March and early June, so most of them have certainly arrived and are being spotted on the beach! They can start nesting anytime after they arrive, but due to the cold and wet weather (more so then usual on the east coast is you can believe it!) they were a little late getting started. Nest have been found in both the Parks (Prince Edward Island Nationals Park and Kouchibouguac National Park), with Kouchibouguac being the busiest with 9 nests so far! There are also nests being monitored outside the Park in both Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick by NGO’s such as the Island Nature Trust and the Irving Eco-centre and Nature New Brunswick.
The plovers usually take 6-8 days to lay their clutch, with a full clutch consisting of 4 eggs. They will then incubate once the full clutch is laid for an average of 26-31 days before the chicks are hatched. The chicks are precocial and will start leaving the nest to feed only a hours after hatching. They usually fledge around 20 days and will start to migrate back to their wintering grounds in late mid to late august, but some have been known to stay longer into September.
We also had some very exciting news that the monitors in Kouchibouguac seen their first chick out running around last week! Very exciting times 🙂
By: Kendra MacDonald