The first piping plover nest of the season at Gordon’s Pond Beach in Cape Henlopen State Park has been discovered, and the parents-to-be are defending their territory.
The nest was found late last week and, when last observed, contained three eggs.
To minimize disturbances to the endangered shorebirds, a half-mile stretch of beach between the Observation Towers and the Herring Point crossover was closed to the public on May 21 with signs, twine, and PVC stakes to mark the area. The area will remain closed until the plover chicks are fledged, which is usually in late August.
Meanwhile, on the Point at Cape Henlopen, a total of five nesting pairs of piping plovers have been seen. One nest has failed, but four others have parents incubating eggs, including a female with bands on her legs.
Three pairs of American oystercatchers have set up nesting territories on the Point, and a pair has been seen making nest scrapes at Gordon’s Pond. Large numbers of least terns are congregating on the shores of Gordon’s Pond but have not yet started to defend nesting territory.
For more information on piping plovers and volunteer opportunities, contact Matt Bailey of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish and Wildlife at (302) 382-4151 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.