2016-06-23 / Nature

Nesting Notes:

Piping plover adult and chick at Sachuest Beach. Piping plover adult and chick at Sachuest Beach. The pair of piping plovers at Third Beach provide a lesson in the ability of this species to survive if left alone. The pair has made three unsuccessful attempts to nest. Their first nest near the Maidford River was compromised and overrun by crows, which ate the pair’s eggs. A second attempt near the Third Beach marsh was also thwarted by predators. The pair’s third effort to nest on the fringe of the marsh was foiled by flooding tides during June’s new moon.

However, the pair have shown their pluckiness and have re-nested in a dune area on Third Beach. They are currently incubating eggs. USFWS has set up a roped area and secured the site with a protective enclosure.

Tragedy struck recently for the pair of piping plovers nesting near the concession stand and pavilion at Sachuest Beach. According to Ryan Kleinert, USFWS piping plover coordinator for the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, “It has been reported that within a fairly short time period after hatching, the chicks were attacked and killed by house sparrows in the nesting area.”

Osprey chicks have been hatching island-wide, and this may prove to be one of the most successful nesting seasons on record. The pair at Toppa Field appear to have at least two chicks, while the pair on Hazard Road in the Gooseneck Cove salt marsh have been observed feeding an unknown number of young birds.

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