Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)
by Brian Kushner, on Flickr
So, to day 64 and almost at the end of my 12 days of nature. Today instead of Eleven pipers piping, I've gone for a little bird I found out about only from doing my 12 days of nature. It's a really lovely little bird but sadly endangered. Even though I've never seen one, it's not native, I thought I'd use it for my eleventh day and tell you all about it. It fits very well as its called a Piping Plover.
Here's some facts about these little beauties:
- They're a lovely little bird only 5 inches / 18 cm long and weigh only 43-63 grams.
- Its name comes from its melodic mating call. Males also do elaborate flight displays to attract a mate.
- Their diet is mainly marine worms, larvae, beetles, crustaceans, molluscs etc.
- Lifespan is generally around 5 years but some may live up to 11 years.
- There only around 8,000 of them left :-(
- Part of the problem is where they like to breed, they like the beach fronts along the east coast of North America. Trouble is lots of people also like this coastline. Human caused habitat destruction is their major threat.
- As they nest on the ground they are also easy prey for predators such as foxes, racoons and skunks.
- Males and females share the incubation of eggs which takes 28 days.
- The chicks are tiny, see this youtube video, also from Brian Kushner.
- As they are so endangered thee are lots of conservation programmes in place to help these little guys thrive again.
So I hope you enjoyed finding out about these lovely birds, maybe you're luckier than me and you've seen one. If you haven't and want to find out more, here are some links:
Hope you enjoyed,