This past Wednesday (June 10th) we welcomed the first wild chicks of the season. These chicks hatched from nests located at both Ludington State Park and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
This past Friday (June 12th) we welcomed the first rescued chicks of the season in our Detroit Zoo sponsored captive rearing center. These specific chicks were rescued from a washed out nest during a storm earlier this spring at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The chicks will be released back into the wild when they are fledging age (~28 days, able to fly), and if possible, at a site with similarly aged wild GLPIPL chicks.
The chicks weigh about 5-7 grams (5-7 paperclips, or 1 US Nickel) when they hatch. They are incubated ~28 days and take another ~28 days until they are completely grown up and on their own. It’s incredible to think the whole process (from egg laying until the chicks leave) takes only about two months! It makes the small compromises we can make to help these birds, even smaller. Things like keeping our dogs leashed on the beach and giving the birds space, doesn’t seem so bad when it’s for such a short amount of time. Especially given how hard the chicks have it and how much beach we have to chose from, doing everything we can for the plovers really does make a difference.