Rare Species of Bird Had Successful Season in Del. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Rare Species of Bird Had Successful Season in Del.

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Adult piping plover bird (Photo: Dennis Murphy, DNREC) Adult piping plover bird (Photo: Dennis Murphy, DNREC)
10-day-old plover chicks (Photo: Victoria Withington, DNREC) 10-day-old plover chicks (Photo: Victoria Withington, DNREC)
LEWES, Del.– Beach-nesting bird monitors in Delaware have reported that migratory shorebirds fledged eight chicks this season.

Six pairs of piping plovers, a species listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, fledged the chicks at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, according to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.  Four chicks were fledged on the Point and four others at Gordons Pond.

“This season, we had two piping plovers nesting in Delaware that had been banded in New Jersey, one in 2012 and one in 2013,” said Wildlife Biologist Matthew Bailey of the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife. “Next year, we'll be watching to see if our two banded plovers return to Delaware to nest.”

The two plovers gave evidence supporting speculation among biologists that plovers who nest in Delaware will return to breed at the same place in the future.  Observers used colored, plastic leg bands to identify individual birds for the studies.

The rare plant, seabeach amaranth, has also been found at Cape Henlopen State Park this season. Officials said the species thrives in the same habitats where piping plovers nest, and shares a spot on the threatened species list under the federal Endangered Species Act.

About 75 seabeach amaranth were documented between Tower Road and Faithful Steward Crossing in Delaware Seashore State Park, while 10 others were found throughout the Point and Gordons Pond.

Officials said areas of Gordons Pond and the Point, specifically the dunes and interdunal areas, remain closed to the public to protect various rare species and plant communities there.

The bayside beach at the Point will remain closed until October, while the oceanside beach will open by Labor Day weekend.

 For more information about beachnesting birds or monitoring efforts, contact Wildlife Biologist Matthew Bailey at (302) 382-4151 or matthew.bailey@state.de.us.

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