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Old 07-10-2017, 11:20 AM
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IBSP Piping Plover Update, 7/7/17

The following is from NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife Endangered and Nongame Species Program biologist Christina Davis:

July 7, 2017
The big excitement for the week was that the nest hatched! The one chick made its entrance during the government shutdown, hatching sometime between the evening of July 1 and the morning of July 2. Staff and volunteers have made observations of it every day since as it learns to forage and navigate its environment.

This was a very odd nest, with just one egg. This makes us especially anxious during chick rearing, since the fate of the brood rests on the shoulders of just one bird (versus the normal 4 chicks that are in a typical brood). However, it also means that the adults (who are now banded and named Pete and Diane, after Pete McClain <former Deputy Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife> and Diane Bennett-Chase <former longtime IBSP naturalist>) can devote all their attention to one chick. Although the parents will not feed the chick, they will help protect it from predators and keep it snuggled under their feathers when the temperatures fall or it rains (plover chicks are unable to regulate their body temperature for the first few weeks of life).

We will keep you updated on the progress of this singleton and hope to have another positive update for you next week!
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