Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mama Bird

Tim & I were in the backyard yesterday when we noticed a cute little bird sitting on the ground... of course, I ran to get the camera. Tim noticed by the way she was sitting that she might just be on eggs. I was skeptical since I've never heard of a bird building it's nest in the middle of the grass. As I took pictures, I got closer & noticed three little speckled eggs (they were near impossible to see through the camera window). I immediately left the bird alone when I noticed the eggs, but when I got inside & downloaded the pictures I found these....

The best part?
Today we looked outside to see
three little baby birds running around!!!

They must have hatched
sometime yesterday afternoon!

We were curious about the species, so we did a little research. They are "Piping Plovers" & usually they're found along the Atlantic coast. They typically make their nest near sandbars & dunes at the beach (I guess this one's a little lost...). They migrate to northern areas during summer & spend winter along the coast. They're also endangered due to habitat loss and human activity near nesting sites.
"Piping Plovers migrate north beginning in mid-March. They begin mating and nesting on the beach in mid-April. Most first time nest attempts are 4 egg nests. Females lay 1 egg every other day. Second or third nesting attempts usually have three or two eggs. Incubation of the nest is shared by both the male and the female. Incubation of the nest is generally 27 days and eggs usually all hatch on the same day. After a chick hatches they are able to feed themselves within hours, the adults role is then to protect them from the elements by brooding them. They also alert them to any danger. Adults will feign a broken wing, "broken wing display", drawing attention to itself and away from the chicks when a predator may be threatening the chicks safety. It takes about 30 days before a chick achieves flight capability." Read more here.

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