Conserve Wildlife Blog

Beachnester Buzz: First American Oystercatcher Chicks of the Season Hatch

May 23rd, 2016

New, weekly updates from New Jersey’s beach nesting bird project team

by Todd Pover, Beach Nesting Bird Project Manager

American Oystercatcher Chick

American oystercatcher Chick

It has been a busy week on the beach nesting bird project! We had our first least tern nests of the season, as the brief spell of warmer weather (finally) made for a burst of breeding activity. The first American oystercatcher nests hatched, so we have chicks on the beach now, as well.

Least Tern Nest

Least Tern Nest

And there was a big spike in new piping plover nests all along the coast, so we were busy erecting “predator exclosures” to protect the eggs from predators, such as crows, cats, gulls, and foxes. While they are not effective or viable to use on every nest, these wire cage structures are one of our best management techniques to increase hatch success by deterring predators.

Piping Plover Exclosure

Piping Plover Exclosure


This week we will be even busier, as we make a mad scramble to protect the nests and colonies before the crowds of beachgoers arrive for the Memorial Day weekend!


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Todd Pover is the Beach Nesting Bird Project Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

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