Piping Plover Nesting Season in Full Swing at Cape Henlopen, Delaware

Piping Plover
Piping Plover Nesting Season in Full Swing at Cape Henlopen, Delaware
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)

Delaware -(Ammoland.com)- Delaware beach-nesting bird monitors report that nesting season is progressing by leaps and bounds, with a flurry of activity by piping plovers and oystercatchers at Cape Henlopen and Delaware Seashore state parks.

“With piping plovers off to an early start this year, we could see the first piping plover hatches at Cape Henlopen State Park as early as Memorial Day weekend,” said Wildlife Biologist Matthew Bailey, Division of Fish & Wildlife.

On the Point at Cape Henlopen, three piping plover nests have full four-egg clutches and are being incubated, while a fourth pair of plovers is still laying eggs, with a full clutch expected in the next few days.

At Cape Henlopen’s Gordons Pond, one pair of piping plovers has begun incubating a nest. To minimize disturbing the federally-protected plovers, a half-mile stretch of beach between the observation towers and the Herring Point crossover was closed to the public Monday – with signs, twine and PVC stakes indicating the closure is in effect at Gordons Pond until after the beach-nesting season.

In other beachnester news:

Two American oystercatcher nests have been spotted at the Point, with adults incubating eggs. Least terns have just begun arriving and monitors are watching to see if their behavior suggests that they will set up a colony.

No oystercatchers are currently displaying nesting behavior at Gordons Pond, and it remains to be seen if least terns will choose to nest this year at Gordons.At Delaware Seashore State Park, a clutch of three oystercatcher eggs was found on May 10 on the ocean beach between Indian River Inlet and the Indian River Life Saving Station, and is being incubated by both adults.  Fencing has been built around the nest to protect it from being inadvertently crushed or unduly disturbed by people getting too close.

For more information on beach-nesting birds and monitoring efforts, please contact Matthew Bailey al [email protected].