The 2023 Winner of the Plover Race! (as far as we know)
Vince Cavalieri, Wildlife Biologist at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, found Of,bL:X,O (bLO) at her summer home near Glen Haven on the afternoon of April 8th. She's the first Great Lakes Piping Plover that has been observed in the Great Lakes this summer. She spends her winters at Cape Lookout in North Carolina.
It's unusual for a female to be the first to return. Usually experienced males migrate a little before experienced females. The younger plovers return later.
Her 2022 mate, Of,RR:X,G (RRG or "Erg") was the first back to Sleeping Bear Dunes last summer.
bLO hatched in 2016 on North Manitou Island at Sleeping Bear Dunes. (so did RRG, but to different parents) She began breeding in 2017 a little south of Sleeping Bear Point. In 2018 she moved to near the Maritime Museum at Glen Haven, but in 2019 she tried her luck at Silver Lake State Park. 2020 brought her back to the Maritime Museum area, where she paired with RRG. They were also together in 2021 and 2022. Will they pair for a fourth season?
We're wishing her a very successful summer with a healthy brood of chicks.