This plover season has been an interesting one to say the least! I wanted to provide a final 2023 plover season update and say thank you to all those who helped out this year or for just following along.
Overall, in Ontario we only had three nests make it to hatch this season – producing a total of five fledglings. Excitingly three of these five fledglings came from a nest around Presqu’ile Provincial Park! Chewie and Saga nested in a restricted area, so we kept their nest quiet while they incubated. Once the nest hatched on June 19th the three chicks headed out on to Presqu’ile’s main beach in their first couple of days. Chewie and Saga did a great job of protecting the chicks and all of them made it to fledge (July 12th – 23 days old) and migrate this season! The last of the fledglings left overnight on Friday August 11. It is awesome to know there are another three Presqu’ile Piping Plovers in the world! Thank you to all who came out to see them this season!!
In addition to Chewie and Saga, we had multiple other plovers stop in at both Darlington and Presqu’ile including (1) Chewie’s mom - Arwen, (2) a 2022 captive-reared male from Pennsylvania, (3) one of our Presqu’ile fledglings from last year! as well as a couple others. The first-year captive-reared male and our 2022 Presqu’ile fledgling showed breeding behaviours for close to two weeks but couldn’t quite get it figured out in the end and eventually left the beach around the beginning of June. Hopefully they return next year (maybe at Darlington?!) and are able to nest.
I want to give a big shout-out to Birds Canada (Sydney and Julie), Jax (Plover Student), Elizabeth (Park Ambassador) and other park staff for all their assistance this season! And another big thank-you to the few volunteers from last year that gave their time to help monitor the plover family this season! Thank you all!
Next year, my hope is that we have a bit more “normal” plover season to be able to engage new volunteers and interested plover lovers. I’ll check in again next spring when our plovers start returning (end of April). For now, have a lovely fall and winter season! And if you don’t already follow Birds Canada’s Ontario Piping Plover social media pages, I highly suggest you do, to keep up with the latest plover news.
If anyone is interested in receiving plover update emails like these and/or are interested in volunteering as a plover monitor in the future, please let me know by emailing: email@example.com.
UPDATE: All 3 piping plover chicks raised in Presqu'ile have been spotted in the wintering grounds in Florida. Unique bands on their legs allow them to be identified by bird watchers. We will be watching in the spring to see if these chicks return to this area to breed.