Somebody Ate Our Cinnamon Bun.

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Piping Plover. Tastes Like Chicken?

In this bizarre and not-very-flattering photo, Michelle Stantial isn’t trying to eat the young Cyclops; she is keeping him warm by breathing softly on him, on an unusually cold, damp afternoon.

Mustache BYLL & Myrtle’s little doodles are being weighed and measured as part of 3 year long study of Piping Plover in New Jersey.

It is a difficult mission. Mustache BYLL & Myrtle run a chaotic show, hiding deep in the dune of Barnegat Light and acting like complete crazy Plovers at the sight of virtually anything. And Cyclops is one of the fastest, sneakiest PIPL that LBI has ever known.

While they were able to find Cyclops and Flapjack, sadly, it appears Cinnamon Bun has perished.

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The mood is grim when a young boy approaches with his mom. He tells RELI about how he loves to walk Barnegat Light and find the Plovers, and how he loves science, especially astronomy, and animals, and how fast he is, and how he saw Dennis catch Cyclops and how it looked really hard, and how if they need help next time he is really fast…
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Archie waits patiently while RELI weighs and measures little Flapjack…
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… and as Michelle prepares Cyclops to receive a tiny radio transmitter to help us understand what might have happened to him if he disappears one day. We can see his tiny wings are developing nicely since we last saw him.
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Unflattering Warmth & Kindness.
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Upset by the loss of our Cinnamon Bun, RELI curses the skies for the horrible weather LBI has experienced for so much of this nesting season.
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But, perhaps inspired by Archie’s good humor and intense enthusiasm for the beach, Dennis manages to giggle when I tell him I think I got a photo of Michelle where it looks like she is eating Cyclops. Which is especially funny because Cyclops is named after the breakfast special at Mustache Bill’s Diner.
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Moving Forward. Archie joins the SUNY team for the release of lil’ Flapjack, and he reminds everyone what this is all about. They are not just doing this work for the animals. They are doing it for us too. And we love it.

Bonus Hand Warming Story From The Field:

At Brigantine the other day, the air was a little cool and so we were cupping the chicks in our hands and warming them by blowing on them. As they were warming up, they were getting feisty. I had three chicks in my hands and they were brushing their sweet little downy heads against my face but also prodding with their bills. At one point, one of the chick’s bills was poking around in my nostril. Never thought that is something that I would have a plover do to me and yet I have to say it oddly was not unpleasant.

~ Christina “Kashi” Davis. On The Record.