Conserve Wildlife Blog

Beachnester Buzz: Piping Plover Fledglings

June 21st, 2016


by Todd Pover, Beach Nesting Bird Project Manager

Amazing transformation of a piping plover from tiny chick to fledgling in just 25 days. Both photos by Northside Jim.


The highlight of this past week was our first piping plover fledglings of the season. This means the first group of chicks has reached the stage where they can fly, which is our metric for success. Hatching the chicks is always great, but our goal is population recovery and the primary way we can increase our low population in New Jersey is to produce more fledglings to come back in future years to breed here.


The doubly exciting news is ALL four of the chicks that hatched at Barnegat Light reached the flying stage. This is notable because typically, on average, we only fledge about one chick per pair in New Jersey. This is not enough to grow or sustain our long-term population. Population modeling tells us we need to fledge about 1.5 chicks per pair range-wide to grow the population and about 1.25 chicks per pair to sustain it.


Of course, not all our piping plover pairs will fledge four chicks, in fact, some may not fledge any. So the Barnegat Light news was a good way to kick off our fledgling season and hopefully it is a sign of above average productivity this year.


Learn More:


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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: