Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Effort

A partnership to study and conserve this migratory shorebird's endangered population between UMN, USFWS, USGS, NPS, DNR, more & You!

Confirmed GLPIPL Nest at Muskegon State Park, MI –1st since 1950’s!

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plovernest2A full four egg clutch of GLPIPL eggs was recently discovered at Muskegon State Park. This area used to host several nests sixty years ago.

The male has the color combo – O,b:X, b/O, y on O. Thus, he has an orange band (O) with a yellow dot (y on O) on his upper left leg with a light blue (b) band below. The USGS numbered metal band (X) is on this bird’s upper right leg followed by a bi-colored or split band that is light blue on top of orange (b/O). He hatched in 2013 on North Manitou  Island in Lake Michigan. This is his first time breeding, which is he still has a brood combo instead of an individual adult combo with an orange flag.

Of, YG:X,O --female adult banded in the Bahamas during the winter of 2014-2015

Of, YG:X,O –female adult banded in the Bahamas during the winter of 2014-2015

The female has the color combo – Of,YG:X,O. Thus, she has an orange flag (Of) on her upper left leg with a yellow (Y) band on top of a green (G) band on the lower portion. The USGS numbered metal band (X) is on this bird’s upper right leg followed by an orange (O) band below.  She hatched in 2013 at Ludington State Park. This female is particularly fascinating though because this is her first time breeding as well and yet she has an adult combo. The reason for this is because she was discovered in the Bahamas this past winter and banded with an adult combination by our colleagues at Virginia Tech. We actually reported on this bird earlier this year, shortly after she was banded.

Once the nest was found some of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife partners on the project went out and put an exclosure over the nest to protect the eggs from predators. The nest was found with four eggs so an exact hatch date is unknown. Fingers crossed that all four eggs hatch and the chicks can be adult banded, possibly in the Bahamas even, one day. To help ensure their success, some of the best things we as people can do to help them is to give the birds lots of space, keep our dogs leashed, and be respectful of the birds in general.

Jack Dingledine, USFWS Assistant Field Office Supervisor, standing by the roped off area to give extra space to the birds and nest protected by the exclosure

Jack Dingledine, USFWS Assistant Field Office Supervisor, standing by the roped off area to give extra space to the birds and nest protected by the exclosure

Female Of,YG:X,G near her nest at Muskegon State Park. She is now affectionately called "Bahama Mama"

Female Of,YG:X,G near her nest at Muskegon State Park. She is now affectionately called “Bahama Mama”

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One thought on “Confirmed GLPIPL Nest at Muskegon State Park, MI –1st since 1950’s!

  1. I was there this afternoon and all four chicks are surviving and were running all over. Adult PIPL’s were trying to keep them somewhat contained but..it’s 4 chicks!!! People were driving around barriers that the State park put up. I saw one young girl chase one of the chicks. With the July 4th holiday approaching and so many people using the beach at that spot…I am concerned for their safety.

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