Thanks so much to Chief McCarthy and Dianne Corliss for their continued help with monitoring Good Harbor Beach. We so appreciate your interest in seeing to the survival of our Little Chick. We can’t thank you enough!
Patti is at Good Harbor early, nearly every single morning collecting trash and debris found on the beach. She also lives in sunny southern California and has some great ideas about trash removal on beaches. More on that to come. In the mean time, if you see Patty on the beach please stop and thank her and or lend a hand.
THANK YOU PATTI!
Good Morning from the Good Harbor Beach Piping Plover patrol brigade! Today we were joined by Gloucester Chief of Police John McCarthy and animal control officer Dianne Corliss. Thank you to both for their continued help in monitoring the dog owner situation. They got to see our Little Chick and parents and it was awesome!
Day by day we see our Little Chick developing new skills. Today he stood on one leg while resting, just as do adult Piping Plovers. When birds stand on one leg, it is a way to conserve heat and energy. For the second day in a row, Little Chick has not needed his parents to regulate his body temperature. He now takes naps on his own in the sand.
Papa Plover and Little Chick standing on one leg.
Regarding flying, there is misinformation circulating about the chicks flying ability. As of this morning, July 18th, our chick has only been seen by the PIPl monitors doing a run-hop-low-airborne thing for a distance of about five to six feet, not fifty to sixty feet. It’s important to clarify so folks don’t think that the chick can easily fly away from an approaching beach goer or four legged creature.
Compare the size of the wings of the fifteen-day-old PiPl to the wings of the twenty-six day old chick.
What will happen to the chick after it becomes a fledgling and can sustain flight? From observing and filming nesting PiPl last year, one family that I can attest to stayed together as a unit, in the area of their nest, well into August, until joined at the end of the summer by more PiPl adults and fledglings. The answer is not easily predicted, but it is going to be exciting to learn as much as we can. One thing is certain is that the chick is not yet ready to make the long migration southward and must remain in this region to grow strong and fat. The fledglings that I filmed last year were so tubby by the end of the summer, you wouldn’t believe that they could fly at all!
Always a tasty morsel to be found in the dried seaweed on an unraked beach.
The last several mornings I have been covering my usual 5:00 to 6:30am time plus the Ryan/King shift, from 6:30 to 8am, when super volunteer Paul Korn arrives (he’s very punctual). We need volunteer monitors this week to cover that 7:00 to 8am shift and several other times as well. If you would like to volunteer, please email Gloucester’s conservation agent Ken Whittaker at: email@example.com. Thank you!
Katrina’s Bar & Grille presents SUMMER SESSIONS The $1,000 Singer-Songwriter Challenge: an 8-week, performance event open to all musicians. Starting on Tuesday, July 18th, this weekly event will select a finalist at the end of each night for 7 weeks. On the 8th week, all of the weekly finalists come together and perform for a piece of the $1,000 cash prize.
Sign up by emailing your name, phone number and whether you are a solo artist, duo, trio, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How it works:
This weekly event, hosted by Chris Langathianos, will showcase musicians – solo performers, duos, trios & bands (no drums as setups must take less than 5 minutes) – allowing them to perform up to 3 songs. Performers will play before a panel of judges. The judges panels will change from week to week and will be made up of local musicians, business owners, etc. After each performance, judges will provide their live feedback to the performer and audience. A confidential score card will be kept, and a weekly winner will be announced at the end of the evening.
After the 7 weeks of preliminaries, all 7 finalists and 1 wild card will return for week 8 to perform 3 songs – at least 1 MUST BE AN ORIGINAL – before a panel of celebrity judges. 3 winners will be selected and will go home with a piece of the $1,000 cash prize. 1st place / $700, 2nd / $200, and 3rd / $100.
1. Performers may participate on a weekly basis but may only win one week.
2. In the event of high demand for performance spots, the event host reserves the right to move previous performers further down the list.
3. All audio equipment is provided – PA, microphones, stands, and monitors.
Performers may register for a performance slot by emailing Chris Langathianos at email@example.com or through this Facebook page.
If you have any questions, they may be directed to Chris at the email above.
Thank you to Good Morning Gloucester reader Dave Moore, who is stationed in Korea and sent this brochure published by the USFWS. Dogs are not allowed at USFWS sanctuaries such as Parker River National Wildlife Refuge all year round, leashed or unleashed and this brochure explains just one of the reasons why. Thanks to Dave for sharing the following PDF.
Cats and Dogs and Birds on the Beach: A Deadly Combination
A tale of cat or dog versus bird may make an enjoyable cartoon, but the real-life version is deadly serious. When birds encounter cats and dogs, the birds rarely win. Many people believe that cats and dogs should be allowed to roam free. People introduced domesticated cats and dogs to this country, and however much we may appreciate them as part of our lives, those animals are not native wildlife or part of a naturally functioning ecosystem. Along the Atlantic coast, cats and dogs pose a serious threat to the continued survival of beach-nesting birds such as piping plovers, least terns and American oystercatchers.
Two months of living on the edge Piping plovers are vulnerable to wild and domestic animals as well as human interference while they guard their nests on sandy beaches for a month before eggs hatch. Plovers blend with their surroundings, so it can be difficult for you to see them. Adult plovers will stagger and feign a broken wing to distract predators from their nests and chicks. Unfortunately, the plover ploy backfires when they face predators more nimble than predators in their native environment. The plover may be caught and killed or injured.
After plover eggs hatch, the tiny chicks spend most of the next month foraging for the food needed to gain weight and develop flight feathers. The flightless chicks face myriad challenges and are simply no match for an agile cat or dog that instinctively sees the chick as something to hunt or chase. With the plovers’ low population numbers, each tiny chick embodies a precious hope for future recovery of the species.
An unfair fight Cats are natural hunters, and even wellfed cats chase and kill birds. Beach-dwelling birds are not adapted to co-exist with cats. Each year in this country, hundreds of millions of birds meet death in the claws of cats. Cats kill roughly 39 million birds annually in Wisconsin alone, according to a 1996 study. Many dogs are naturally inclined to hunt birds after generations of breeding for that purpose. Unleashed dogs chase birds, destroy nests and kill chicks. Plovers are so difficult to see on beaches that it is extremely easy to miss seeing a bird that your dog is chasing. Even when they are on leashes, dogs can frighten and kill birds. In a 1993 study, researchers found that the mere presence of pets disturbs piping plovers far more than human presence. While we cannot tell birds where we want them to nest, we can control cats and dogs.
Protecting our environment We not only have an obligation to protect birds as an important part of our environment, it is the law. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed Atlantic coast piping plovers on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in 1986 with a “threatened” designation, meaning that without care the species could face extinction. The plover future is so tenuous that for more than 20 years, people from local, state and federal agencies along with dozens of private organizations have provided intensive protection for the birds. They have spent countless hours managing predators and posting nesting areas to protect birds from pedestrians and off-road vehicles. By 2005, the piping plover population had grown to more than 1,400 pairs. However, protection is neccesary for the species’ survival because threats, including those from cats and dogs, remain.
Monitoring nests and protecting habitat are only part of the piping plover protection story. Plovers need everyone’s help, and vigilant pet owners play an essential role. We need to take advantage of every means to prevent plover deaths if we are to ensure the survival of this bird.
Down to one lane, slight back up to exit 13 inbound Gloucester at 9am
The names are as wonderful as the US Navy sailboats themselves…and they were back in Rockport for Rockport Navy Weekend.
The sleek ships, adorned with the colorful nautical flags make an already beautiful New England harbor even more perfect.
The boats were open to visitors throughout the weekend and Sunday afternoon the Junior sailors from Sandy Bay Yacht Club were welcomed aboard.
It has come to my attention that there is a faction of people that in passing on the street will comment to me and say things like “Enough with the plovers”, or something to that effect.
I find the Plovers somewhat interesting just to see if they will survive but I’m not sure why the coverage irritates certain people. Like when it made the newspaper one of the guys in the office muttered “This is front page news?”
I may have mentioned this to Kim, not sure, but it seems like there are firmly entrenched two camps- those that are absolutely all in and fascinated by them and those that aren’t.
So just out of curiosity, and of course it’s anonymous so you don’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings, here’s a poll to determine where the readership falls. I’m very interested where people fall on this.
This Thursday, join Backyard Growers and guest speaker Sophie Courser from Alprilla Farm for a workshop on organic pest and disease management! We will address common pest and disease concerns, as well as preventative garden care and other solutions to common garden woes.
Thursday, 7/20 at 6:00pm
Burnham’s Field Community Garden
FREE for Backyard Growers program participants,
$10 for Community Members
Register online: www.bankgloucester.com/current_events