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Bird Island, Nassau Sound, Duval County: A first of season Piping plover in
alternate plumage was sighted Saturday morning. The early date matches an
older record of a Great Lakes PIPL returning to the sound. With all the
flooding throughout the Great Plaines, some early returns were anticipated
but, because this bird was unmarked, there is no means to determine its
origin. While under observation, a slight limp was detected and closer
inspection revealed two toes missing on its right foot. 

 

Juxtaposed against this early migrating plover, were a female Wilson' plover
brooding three recently hatched chicks and another female with an unhatched
clutch  in the lower sound. Both represent late nesting efforts following
the failures of one or two prior nesting efforts in the high stress coastal
environment. Repetitive nesting effort is commonplace on today's coast with
a multitude of natural and human associated adversities now impacting the
birds.  Some species are now experiencing low hatching success and most are
challenged to fledge young. 

 

 

Patrick Leary, Fernandina Beach, Nassau County 


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