I thought I'd take a minute to share some pix and an update on the Piping Plovers out at Sandy Hook. I got to spend some quality time with them on World Series Day when all the serious birders were sorting through the gulls and terns amassed at the end of the Fishermen's Trail.
Did I mention that we made two death marches out there that day to look at gulls?
The nest exclosures take the invisible and make it very conspicuous. It'd be hard to stumble upon and destroy a nest so clearly identified in this way. The electrical shock is said to be mild and just enough to deter predators like foxes and gulls from gaining entry. I've read that foxes continue to be a problem, however, as some learn to dig under the exclosure to get at the nest within.
Sadly, a mild shock is not enough to deter malicious people from willfully destroying Plover nests. About-to-hatch eggs were removed from an electrified exclosure at Sandy Hook a couple summers ago. That sad story is available here. Of course no one will ever be caught, but the reward sign still stands at the beginning of the Fishermen's Trail.
On World Series Day I was lucky enough to witness a nest exchange; the male sneaking in to take over egg-warming duties from the female. Later in the day, I found the pair feeding together at the shoreline.
I'm assuming this is a pair, anyway!
And as much camera time as they'll comfortably allow.
festival of Lights
2 weeks ago