PIPL

PIPL

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Share 2020 eBird Checklists

I wanted to ask that everyone please share any eBird checklists that include shorebirds, terns, herons or egrets with the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com whenever you can. We have requested this help in previous years, and please keep them coming in 2020!

There is a button on eBird to share in the upper left when viewing checklists, and if you click that and enter ctwaterbirds@gmail.com you can easily do so with applicable checklists. Even old checklists can be sent if you have any from earlier in the year. This helps us record the staging and nesting areas for these birds - those that we do not monitor every pair in Connecticut as we do for Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers - and also helps us track volunteer hours for folks who are recording waterbird activity. Please be sure these checklists contain your time spent in the field in the reports to help track level of effort.


This is a huge help in 2020 when we have yet to have official volunteer monitoring start for AAfCW and CT DEEP due to COVID-19. The more information, data and time from the field, the better.

Please also email any sightings such as banded or flagged Piping Plovers or plovers potentially nesting in unexpected or unusual beaches to Laura Saucier (Laura.Saucier@ct.gov) and Rebecca Foster (Rebecca.Foster@ct.gov) of CT DEEP plus us at AAfCW (ctwaterbirds@gmail.com).

You should also please email ctwaterbirds@gmail.com any significant or important information pertaining to Piping Plovers, American Oystercatchers, Least Terns, and Common Terns beyond day to day expected sightings at typical beaches. We have a vastly reduced number of eyes out there, and we are doing the best we can this spring and summer for our birds. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

Scott Kruitbosch
AAfCW Volunteer Coordinator
RTPI Manager of Connecticut Programs

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Piping Plover Eggshell

Piping Plover nests are beginning to hatch! While some pairs are still trying to figure out where to spend the breeding season, plovers who arrived in March and got right to business now have young popping out from eggs like this one.


I discovered it earlier today along the waterline of one of our beaches - where we should all walk as much as possible - probably 100-125 feet from a nest that hatched hours before. Three tiny ones were stumbling around with mom and dad while foraging, resting, and trying to find some shade.

Piping Plover adults pick up the eggshells from their nest in their bills, walk away and dispose of them as another step in ensuring the safety of their very fresh young. There have been precious few exclosures set up in 2020 due to COVID-19, and there have certainly been numerous nests lost to predation. It was very satisfying to see a nest without an exclosure end up successful!

Scott Kruitbosch
AAfCW Volunteer Coordinator
RTPI Manager of Connecticut Programs

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Flagged Piping Plover

Let's take a flight back in time and down to Miami in this post. Back in February and March, right before COVID-19 emerged across America, I was spending a couple weeks of my time working with many of our birds in their wintering tropical paradise. I was happy to see a banded and flagged Piping Plover in Miami, green flag (GF) M9E. Apart from this bird's flag on the left leg, it had an orange band on the right.





I reported it to the Virginia Tech Shorebird Program, knowing it was one of their birds. It turns out this female was banded as an adult on June 18, 2017 on her nesting grounds of Fire Island National Seashore, New York. She is a regular at this wintering site in Miami because she's a very smart bird! I hope I will be able to go find her next winter, for both of our sakes, in Miami again.

For all of you in Connecticut, please report any banded or flagged Piping Plovers you see to Laura Saucier (Laura.Saucier@ct.gov) and Rebecca Foster (Rebecca.Foster@ct.gov) of CT DEEP plus us at AAfCW (ctwaterbirds@gmail.com). Thank you!

Scott Kruitbosch
AAfCW Volunteer Coordinator
RTPI Manager of Connecticut Programs

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

2020 Piping Plover Monitoring Program Materials

We now have the 2020 Piping Plover Monitoring Program packet from CT DEEP Wildlife Division now in the right-hand column of our blog. You can also find it right here in this link. It contains important information pertaining to volunteer duties, responsibilities, conduct, and procedures, guidelines for being a good witness, relevant contact information, and dog laws in the State of Connecticut as well as specifics for municipalities.

We also remind you that this is the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds' new volunteer training webinar for 2020, recorded on March 14, 2020.


If you are a new volunteer or a previous monitor looking to refresh your training, please watch the entire video. Contact us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com with any questions or to sign up as a monitor, complete your schedule, or see how else you can help waterbird species across Connecticut.

This training session was co-sponsored by the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds (Audubon Connecticut, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History and the Connecticut Audubon Society) and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Wildlife Division.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Piping Plover Chick

Take a look at this Piping Plover chick that I photographed last summer in Milford...


That is some incredible camouflage! If I did not crop the photo and had zoomed out, it could have been a difficult game of finding the hidden little one. While we know our Piping Plovers feed in the wrack, it also helps them blend into their beach along with the sand. When it comes to aging our birds CT DEEP has this very helpful guide to be used in reporting. This young chick matches the description and example photo very well. Please keep the guide in mind when it comes to finding the new families later this spring and summer.

Scott Kruitbosch
AAfCW Volunteer Coordinator
RTPI Manager of Connecticut Programs