2016-08-25 / Nature

Nesting and Migration Notes

A juvenile piping plover forages at Third Beach. (Photo by Jack Kelly) A juvenile piping plover forages at Third Beach. (Photo by Jack Kelly) Piping plover nesting and chick-rearing season has ended with positive results for the three pairs which nested at Sachuest and Third beaches. After three failed attempts at nesting, the pair at Third Beach was successful on their fourth attempt and raised two chicks to fledgling status in the past week. These juveniles will leave the area soon with their parents for migration south to warmer winter climes.

The two pairs which nested at Sachuest Beach encountered their own issues. One pair, which nested near the concession stand, lost their chicks to predator attacks soon after hatching. The pair did not appear to re-nest. However, the second pair raised one chick to juvenile status and then established a second nest (“double brooding”), raising a second chick which fledged in recent days. According to Ryan Kleinert, USFWS piping plover coordinator for the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, “This was a good year for local piping plovers in Middletown after all. The four juveniles represent 1.33 juveniles per pair, which bodes well for the locally nesting population.”

Newport’s two osprey nests were productive this summer as well. The pair of ospreys nesting high on the cell tower at Toppa Field raised one chick to fledgling status. The juvenile has been observed accompanying its parents on fishing trips to Easton’s Beach and Easton’s Pond. This was the 11th season together for this raptor pair, and to date they have raised 25 chicks.

The newly mated pair of ospreys nesting in the Gooseneck Cove salt marshes for the first time successfully raised two chicks. This pair and their chicks have delighted hundreds of birders and wildlife enthusiasts this spring and summer with their displays of flying and fishing skills.

The adults of both pairs are now preparing their young for the rigors of their first migration to South America in the early fall.

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