Brooding Piping Plover: Newborn chicks are unable to maintain their own body temperature for the first week after hatching, so they must periodically return to one of their parents to be brooded under the warmth of their wings. Within a few hours of hatching the chicks are able to walk and feed themselves but they have to group together for the first week to keep themself warm. I enjoy observing these nesting birds and chicks every summer. The chicks are so tiny and camouflage against sandy beach backgrounds, probably you will miss them on beach, but they feel very independent and wander in all directions with no control from the parents while feeding. Once they go too far, the adult bird will call and you will amaze to see the chicks take no time to return. It takes 4-5 weeks to fly them. I took this image with long lens without disturbing them, last summer, when this family took a ride from their protected nesting area to the beach for feeding. The migratory piping plover is an endangered species in several states and near threatened federally. An intense protection program to save this species runs every summer in my coastal area. The Atlantic Coast piping plover population breeds on coastal beaches from Newfoundland to North Carolina and winters along the Gulf Coast to Caribbean. Hope you will like this image.