Much like our kids, Piping Plover immediately go berserk upon exiting a vehicle that has just arrived at the beach. In this case, the vehicle is an egg. Piping Plover parents don’t feed their young. Instead, the chicks begin running around and foraging almost immediately after hatching, save for a little time squirming around in the nest and getting their base-tans on. Many of you are probably thinking that’s quite a blessing and imagining how your own lives may or might have been different if you had self-feeding kids. But there is a dark side.
While the evolutionary origins of this unique ability remain unexplained by science, Folklore & Legend have the answers we seek. As it turns out, many moons ago, there was a great Plover King from the Isle of Toots named Imadorbz The Adorable. Imadorbz the Adorable had a brave son named Itty The Bitty. Itty the Bitty was a noble, but rebellious young PIPL who became obsessed with a desire to forage for worms at the Dark Tidepool; a habitat strictly forbidden on the Isle of Toats. Long story short, Itty the Bitty went against the clan’s strict laws (The Tiny Charter) and ventured off to the Dark Tidepool where he met a magical Snowy Owl named Imaeatyou. Imaeatyou granted Itty the Bitty a single magical wish. Being a young father himself, Itty the Bitty wished that all Piping Plover could have self feeding children. The wish was happily granted by a drooling Imaeatyou The Snow Owl.
Upon returning to his village, Itty the Bitty found all of the chicks in the Kingdom feeding for themselves. Overcome with amazement and joy and tons of free time, the adults gathered for a Great Feast Of Worm while the chicks ran amok. Within 20 mins, Imaeatyou had eaten every single chick and destroyed the Kingdom, which is why today this Legend only exists in my imagination.
To this day, Piping Plover are spared the difficult work of feeding their young and burdened with the perhaps-more-dreadful task of trying to keep the chicks alive while they run amok on the beach feeding themselves at just a day old. Give them too much freedom, they will surely be eaten; keep them too close and they will starve. Always remember the Curse Of Imaeatyou if you encounter a Piping Plover family and do everything in your magic powers not to break the intense concentration the parents need to play this high stakes game. Thanks a million, Itty The Bitty.