Piping Plovers Arrive
After a successful 2015 season, the piping plovers returned to Wasaga Beach in May 2016 for a 9th season at the park. Sixteen birds were observed in Beach Area 1: 10 of which paired to establish 5 new nests. Of the 10 birds, 8 are returning from previous years.
One returning plover is known locally as the ‘green bandit’ because of the two green identification bands on each of his legs. He has been coming to Wasaga Beach since 2012. Since 2013 he has fathered 11 chicks successfully.
In early June heavy rains and wind caused a flooding scare for two of the five nests. However, the plovers seemed to know what elevation and distance from the shore to place their nests. All eggs survived. Chicks hatched between June 11 and 27th.
- Nesting Summary (June 28th)
- Chick total: 18 (status pending)
- Adults currently on site: 10
- Season total of adults: 19
- Predation: 1 adult (nest #3), 1 chich (nest #4)
End of Season Report
It has been an exceptional year for the Wasaga Beach piping plover. Of the 19 eggs laid, all of them hatched. Unfortunately on July 2nd, three chicks were lost. While the ‘go to’ culprit is usually a gull, there have been some predation attempts and ‘near misses’ by crows. The predation may also have been the result of territorial disputes by the plovers themselves.
With help from many volunteers, a grand total of 5 nests along Beach Area 1 broke Wasaga Beach’s nesting site record for piping plovers. By the end of the season 14 chicks fledged and are now heading to the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic coast of Florida for the winter. We wish them well on their journey and kindly thank all the people involved for making this year such a big success!