Approximately three weeks after they arrived at Port Elgin Beach, the Piping Plovers’ four offspring hatched on Monday afternoon, June 23 (2014).
They are the first Piping Plovers to ever make Port Elgin their home.
It was touch and go as one of the chicks fell headlong into a discarded shell and couldn’t release itself. After more than five minutes, the shell finally dislodged and mom immediately picked it up, ran out of the safety enclosure and took it away down the beach.
“The adults are extremely protective,” said Stewart Nutt, who has been following the birds in Port Elgin and Sauble Beach, where one nest out of four has survived. “I have seen them attack a hawk trying to protect their offspring or try to draw away a fox by feinting injury.”
Nutt went on to say how amazed the volunteer organization that follows the Piping Plover was with the Town of Saugeen Shores. “The Town staff have been nothing short of incredible,” he said. “I am so proud of our community and how everyone has taken to these little birds.”