Miracle!!1!???!!11

The Miracle
The Miracle

Now that might not look like much, but that right there… well… that’s a bonafide Miracle on the Beach. That’s a Piping Plover scrape (the itty bitty nests they dig in the sand), covered in fresh Piping Plover tracks, at Barnegat Light State Park. While it’s always a huge surprise and a thrill to discover one of these adorable little ocean front homes built by our local animals, this one is particularly precious and especially curious.

Why? Because our only pair of Piping Plover, Tufters & Tacey, have not only already laid and hatched their season’s nest, but they’ve also already lost three of their four chicks, and the only survivor is basically full grown and ready to leave the Island for the Bahamas. You’d expect Tufters and Tacey themselves to be leaving any day now. It’s like September in PIPL terms. So who might be scraping around LBI so late in the season?

What the...?????
What the…????? Tufters! Tacey! What are you up to??!!!!!???

That’s Tufters alright, presenting one of his fancy, new scrapes to Tacey, while their almost-full-grown surviving chick Beth is running around somewhere in the dune behind them. Wait… they couldn’t be…. could they???!!!???

Tufters does his adorable little Goosestepping, this time in his bands.
Yup, sure looks like it. Tufters does his adorable little Goosestepping maneuver, only this time in his adorable little green bands.

Longtime readers who have been forced to learn more about the amazing and adorable PIPL than they ever expected or probably even wanted to might recognize these maneuvers as Piping Plover mating.

Could it be? Could it be a…. Miracle???!!11????