Six Piping Plover Pairs Now Nesting On The Point At Cape Henlopen

Six Piping Plover Pairs Now Nesting On The Point At Cape Henlopen
Training for volunteer beachnester monitors set for May 15 in Lewes.

Piping Plover
Piping Plover
Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife
Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife

Delaware –-(AmmoLand.com)- As of today, May 10, six piping plover nests had been spotted at Cape Henlopen, all on the Point. Things are progressing more slowly down at Gordons Pond, where two pairs of plovers have staked out territories and no nests have been seen yet.

The first four nests at the Point have complete clutches of four eggs. The newest nests, when checked earlier today, had two eggs each. Two of the nests have had predator exclosures built around them, and a third will likely receive an exclosure when its clutch of eggs is complete. The other three nests are in spots where there is relatively heavy vegetation and/or steep dunes nearby.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service suggests avoiding use of exclosures around nests in such low visibility areas, since predators may be able to sneak up on the adult plovers as they incubate the nest,” explained Wildlife Biologist Matthew Bailey.

Two pairs of American oystercatchers have nested at Cape Henlopen, one at the Point and one at Gordons Pond. The nest at the Point was taken by a predator, but hopefully the pair will renest, Bailey said, noting predators and May high tides will continue to threaten the nests.

Volunteers who would like to help monitor the progress of Delaware’s endangered piping plovers and other beachnesters this season are invited to a free training session from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 15, at the Biden Center at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes.

The session will begin with refreshments and a slideshow, followed by a discussion on the monitoring program and how volunteers can help to ensure that our beachnesting shorebirds are given the peace and quiet they need to successfully rear their chicks. Weather permitting, the group will finish out the session by going out to the Point at Cape Henlopen to look for piping plovers and other shorebirds. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own scopes or binoculars if they have them.

Preregistration is encouraged, but attendees also will be accepted at the door. Park entrance fees will be waived for volunteers attending the training by notifying the fee booth attendant. For more information, please contact Wildlife Biologist Matt Bailey at 302-382-4151 or email [email protected]

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