The First 2022 Juvenile Arrives at the Coast!
...and it's one of our captive-reared chicks!
The first juvenile Great Lakes Piping Plover at the coast on 8/2.
Glibert Grant found it on Topsail Island, NC.
Of,bG:X,Y/O (Upper left: orange flag; Lower left: light blue over green bands; Upper right: USGS metal band; Lower right: black band with an orange stripe around the middle) was raised in captivity after monitors at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, MI noticed that the male was no longer present and helping to incubate his nest. It's very likely that he was caught by the Merlin that had been hunting in the area.
Since it takes two plover parents to successfully incubate eggs (they take turns on the nest, allowing their mate to feed) the female soon had to give up on incubating. The staff at Sleeping Bear Dunes was ready to spring into action to collect and incubate the eggs, then transfer them to the captive-rearing facility at the University of Michigan Biological Station. There avian-specialist zookeepers, coordinated by the Detroit Zoo, watch over the developing eggs, and hatching and growing chicks.
When Of,bG:X,L/O/L was flying well, s/he was released back at Sleeping Bear Dunes on July 7th. Of,bG:X,L/O/L and two siblings quickly joined the wild-raised chicks in the area to feed, rest in the cobble and perfect their flying skills. It was last seen at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on 7/26. We're looking forward to getting reports about other young plovers and especially about the two siblings.
All of the 2022 captive-reared chicks will have the black band with an orange stripe around it on the lower right.
Feeding and getting ready to migrate on 7/15 at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, MI
Send your sightings of Great Lakes Piping Plovers in migration or on the non-breeding territories to firstname.lastname@example.org.