Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Breezy Point Banded Piping Plover Cowboy Successfully Nested

Cowboy with one of her chicks
In April of this year, I observed a banded Piping Plover at Breezy Point in Queens NY, which I found out was banded in 2016 at the E.B. Forsythe NWR in New Jersey. Nicknamed Cowboy, this female PIPL, decided she would set up shop in Queens - at least that is what I hoped for. After subsequent visits did not show her with a mate, I thought she would not breed this year.

3 Piping Plover Chicks
I was therefore quite delighted on Sunday June 18th to discover that Cowboy had kept her relationship hidden and had indeed found a mate, successfully nested and was now the proud mother of 3 baby Piping Plover chicks. Since Piping Plovers tend to lay 4 eggs, there is a good chance I might have missed the 4th chick? Cowboy looked quite comfortable in her motherly role and I observed how protective she and her mate got when a Red-winged Blackbird got too close to their chicks. These tiny fluff balls will have a tough time dealing with all the dangers of the beach but with a lot of luck and good parenting, they will make it and some day have a family of their own.

Male Piping Plover- Cowboy's mate

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