It appears a piping interloper has appeared at Tufter’s would-be nesting grounds. While Tufters has been sitting pretty with the Barnegat Light nesting site all to his little lonesome for a few weeks, all of that suddenly changed yesterday when a new bird came on the scene and started furiously scraping little nests all over Tuftersville.
The itty bitty PIPL lay their tiny eggs in adorable little depressions in the sand called scrapes. They make these little architectural wonders by lying belly-down in the sand and kicking their legs around, much like a random 3 year old might make a home for herself on the beach right next to your chair. The furious scraping of this intruder is a most likely a territorial maneuver to claim the site, much like if your contractor showed up in your neighbor’s backyard and started building your new 4 bedroom home. Your neighbor only has a few options to deal with that situation, and if he or she takes none of them, you just got some new land on-the-cheap.
Tufters appears to be a little overwhelmed by the whole situation. He has made several attempts to chase off the intruder, but his nemesis is a determined little scraper and does not appear to be relenting.
After 24 hours of Benny-Hill-style chases and scrapes, Tufters appears to have stopped fighting. Still, he certainly is not letting Scrapey McScrapes-a-lot out of his sight.
But there may be another reason why they appear to have made nice: while all this drama was unfolding amongst the shells in the sand, larger and more immediate problems were brewing up on the dune….
That’s right. Snow in April. Stay tuned.