Four of the sweetest little Piping Plover chicks hatched Thursday morning, June 22, at Good Harbor Beach. They are all beautiful and perfectly formed and healthy. Within hours of hatching, the mini-marshmallow-rockets were zooming and tumbling about the shore. Mom Joy and Dad Joe are in full on protective mode, doing their best to chase seagulls and people out of their territory.

Don’t mess with Mama Joy!

Last year the East Gloucester neighborhood kids named the parents, Joy and Joe; and chicks PuffPuff, FluffFluff, and Tootsie Pop. The parents are most likely the same pair as they have nested in nearly the exact same spot as last year. Comment in the comment section for name suggestions if you would like. Wouldn’t it be great if the four names were somehow Fiesta inspired đź™‚

Good Harbor Beach is going to be very crowded this weekend. If the chicks manage to survive the first ten days, their odds of surviving increase dramatically.

How we can all help the Piping Plover chicks survive:

1) Perhaps the most important point to understand is that within hours of hatching, Piping Plover chicks are on the move. They soon begin to explore outside the symbolically roped off area. Keep an eye out for the chicks. Educate friends and family that they may see these tiny vulnerable creatures on the beach. Do not approach the chicks or adults, but observe quietly from a distance. Mom and Dad Plover will let you know if you are too close.

2) Don’t leave behind or bury trash or food on the beach. All garbage attracts predators such as crows, seagulls, foxes, and coyotes, and all four of these creatures EAT plover eggs and chicks.

3) Do not linger near the Piping Plovers or their nests. Activity around the Plovers also attracts gulls and crows.

4) Keep dogs off the beach at all times of the day and evening.


Snuggling next to Mom for warmth.


Clip from last year’s year Piping Plover Family —

10 thoughts on “FIESTA BABY PLOVERS!

  1. I am relieved to know that the city’s conservation agent, and an Americorps service provider are working with the Essex County Greenbelt Association in monitoring the nesting site. Thankfully there is a team of volunteers helping to protect the plovers and asking any visitors who approach the nesting area to stay away from it and give the birds the space they need.


    1. The information provided in the Times article was inaccurate regarding when the chicks hatched. The first baby PiPl arrived Thursday morning, early; by mid-afternoon, Thursday, all four had hatched. I go to check on the Plovers twice a day, sometimes more frequently. The only person I have seen there is Dave Rimmer, from Essex GreenBelt, when the PiPl were establishing their nest a month ago.

      Friday mid-day to mid-afternoon, the chicks, which would have been one day old, were fully mobile. It was very warm Friday, the beach was packed, and there were no volunteers or Americorps representatives there. I can’t speak to Saturday and Sunday afternoons as I was only there both days early in the morning. I hope the team of volunteers appears soon.


  2. All four plover chicks sighted scurrying about their enclosure, and outside of it, 6:55 Monday evening, June 26.


  3. Thank you for writing! I saw them too Michael, and three were feeding briefly in the tide flats. So great that all four have survived four whole days!!!


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