Of the 10 chicks hatched from 3 breeding pairs of Piping Plovers at Sauble Beach this year, 3 were eaten by Merlins while the other 7 went on to survive and eventually become proficient flyers.
At that time in early August, the 100 plus guardian volunteers were unable to keep up with them and the guardian program was suspended. They were lightly monitored after that. The Guardian Program that protected these birds lasted approximately 2 months. All 7 have migrated and we hope they survive the journey down to the Gulf Coast and return next year.
Congratulations to Stewart Nutt who coordinated the effort to protect these rare and endangered birds and to the many volunteers who took part in their protection. Well done, Stew.
With 7 chicks from Sauble, 4 from Wasaga and 3 on Manitoulin Island the total known population of Piping Plover chicks this year stands at 14 in Ontario. It will be a long year waiting to see how many come back.