Plover Chicks Take Flight at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park

Back in June we reported that there were two Piping plover nests at the park’s Beach Area One. Each nest had four eggs and all of the eggs have since hatched. Unfortunately three chicks did not survive. Two were lost to predation and one to illness.

The female plovers have left the nests, to feed in rich feeding areas, before migrating south. This is typical behaviour for plovers, with the females leaving the nest earlier than the rest of the family, as they are exhausted from producing eggs and sharing incubating duties. The males stay behind to care for the young.

In the case of the Wasaga Beach plovers, the male who was left with only one chick to care for dropped it off at the other nest and left. This chick has been accepted into the remaining brood leaving the one adult male plover to care for all five chicks!

The chicks are starting to molt into their adult plumage and they are flying. The adult males and young will eventually make their way to the point off of Beach Area One and then make the long journey to their winter grounds.