A coming-out party

I have pix of plover chicks from this afternoon that are just oozing sweetness, but I’m going to hold them close for a few days…

: )

Instead I want to share pix from last weekend, the Fourth of July, when the beaches were packed with people and the chicks were just barely a week old…

The important thing to know is that we all survived the holiday weekend; despite the hordes of people, the fireworks on the beach, the blazing sun and the occasional thunderstorm.

The parents kept the brood of four chicks close and spent the hottest part of each day in the high dunes.

Often an adult plover gathered the babies into the feathers of his/her breast to provide shade or comfort.

Plover chicks have to feed themselves so they must venture out onto the open beach to feed…

This is a dangerous time and they’re vulnerable; everyone is nervous… their parents… us volunteers…

The wrack line was relatively safe, though a parent was always close by to keep anyone from wandering too far from safety…

The volunteer monitors spent our time ushering people away from the ropes and feeding chicks. The chicks were mostly impossible to see at this point, so it took some convincing for people to actually believe there were baby plovers around.

We cheered them on each time they made their way to the waterline to feed.

They’re growing nicely and my camera is finding them much easier to focus on… if they ever stand still that is! Watching them feed is like watching a game of “Red Light, Green Light”… remember that as a kid?

: )

These babies can run!

The adult birds are still happy to pose!

*Please note that I haven’t cropped any of these pix, so please click to enlarge. Half the joy in this is watching them grow up and a big part of understanding the challenges these birds face is seeing them life-size in their surroundings, I think.

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