Piping Plover are without a doubt the cuttiest-dootiest, and the most endangered, bird on LBI. We can relate to them because they are true beach goers and like to raise their young on the beach, just like us. And also just like us they are annoyed by crowds, loss of habitat, and gulls. But Piping Plover turn out to be pretty crappy parents, and are known to bail on their kids at the first sign of trouble at the nest. Mostly trouble from humanz. Annoying humanz drive us off the beach too, the difference is, we take our kids with us.
Put it all together and you have a super dicey situation for the poor Piping Plover. That’s why this Fourth of July an extra frantic & heroic effort was made to erect more protective fencing because it’s rumored there are some healthy chicks running up & down at the Lighthouse.
If you ask me, the real danger is “pocketing”; i.e. putting the itty bitty chicks in your pocket to take home with you. I strongly suggest you seat yourself before you click this link to a Google Image Search for “Piping Plover Chicks”. EEEGADDDDS! If that’s not one of the cutest things you’ve ever seen, then you need to get your eyes and your heart checked. Here they are again: Google Image Search for “Piping Plover Chicks”. AWWWWW! LOOK AT A LITTLE CHICK! WHO’S A GOOD LITTLE BOY? WHO’S A GOOD LITTLE GIRL? YOU ARE LITTLE CHICKY! YOU ARE!
Sadly, even with my longest lens there were no chicks or nests visible from the perimeter. But rest assured I’m begging at every opportunity to a get a guide to take me close enough that we can take some Official Piping Plover Chick Readings.
If someone can get my camera within range of these itty bitty cuties, I promise to try not to pocket any.