Soon Will Be Time To Say Goodbye. But First, PLOVERPOLOOZA!

Our Itty Bittys are not-so-itty-biity. They're downright plump as they prepare to leave us.
Our Itty Bittys are not-so-itty-biity anymore. They’re downright plump as they prepare to say goodbye.

While it’s not over until the fat plover migrates, the fact that all 3 of LBI’s Piping Plover chicks have survived their first month is nothing short of a raging success. Fluffy, Puffy, and lil’ Tufters are fledged and just about ready to begin the long migration South to, most likely, the Caribbean, to spend their late youth in a rum soaked blur. They could be leaving us anyday now. It’s a tough thing: we won’t know they are gone until we simply can’t find them anymore, and finding them has always been hard, and getting harder as they get older, plumper, and lazier.

But the upside is that since the mass migration has started, a Ploverpolooza is going down right now as migrating families from the North make stops on LBI. Makes sense. I always make a stop on LBI whenever I migrate anywhere near New Jersey. I’ve just seen our first guests. BENNY Plover?

"Our" Papa laying low and checking something out
“Our” Papa was laying low and checking something out
Who's that? Some kind of Imposter Papa
Who ‘dat? Some kind of Imposter Papa. 
Our Papa tries to look casual as he checks out the visitors.
Our Papa tries to look casual as he follows Imposter Papa around.
Well, well. Looks like we have some new friends.
Well, well. Looks like Imposter Papa is packing chicks. It’s a PloverPolooza!
Our Papa gathers the kids together. Let's see... Fluffy... Puffy.... who's that flying??? That can't be 'lil Tufters??!!11111!
Our Papa gathers the kids together. Let’s see… Fluffy… Puffy…. who’s that flying??? That can’t be ‘lil Tufters??!!11111!
Oh Tufters
Oh Tufters. There you are.
OK, but you're getting a little old for this buddy. It's almost time to put on your big boy wings. The real world is quite different than LBI.
OK, but you’re getting a little old for this buddy. It’s almost time to put on your big boy wings. The real world is quite different than LBI.

It was statistically improbable that the itty bittys would survive, but it was not dumb luck that it happened. A huge factor was the enormous heart and powerful will of Todd Pover, the Beach Nesting Bird Manager for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ.

Humanz only need to budge a tiny little inch to restore the ittiest-bittiest bit of balance to nature and save Piping Plover from extinction. They just need a little tiny sliver of the Island for a couple weeks and it is Todd and the hard working staff & volunteers who help them get it on our behalf. They erect & maintain the fences and signs that we recklessly and repeatedly ignore and destroy, and they monitor the birds for their entire stay.

Check out the Beach Nesting Program web page and get a sense of what is at stake here. And make a donation! These people are on it, and guys like Todd Pover are working tirelessly behind the scenes to keep LBI alive. I know this because Todd is tireless even in responding to my most inane emails like “Hey Todd, if I a Plover chick jumps in my pocket, can I keep it?” or “Hey Todd, which do you think is cooler… to say PLUVER, like ‘lover’, or PLOVER, like ‘rover’?“… and he does it with a smile because he loves the birds.

Please consider hooking up the Beach Nesting Program with some much need funds. Every little bit counts.

And keeps your eyes peeled for Piping Plover families visiting LBI as they head South. It’s Ploverpolooza! Check out how far our little Fluffy, Puffy, and Tufters have comeLook at how itty bitty, precious, & adrorbz they were just a few weeks ago!