Two day old Piping Plover chick - The belly of The Hook, Sandy Hook National Seashore, Gateway National Park, New Jersey
We saw some park rangers in a white pick-up eyeing these chicks, and when we went over to talk to them they told us they had hatched 2 days ago and were the product of the last nest of the season. At this point the chicks were all legs with just little nubs of wings, and their tiny size and fast feet are pretty much their only means of evading the dangers of the Jersey Shore.
Since these guys hatched from the last nest, the rangers will be taking down the restrictive fencing within a week or so, and people will once again have free range of the beaches along The Hook!
Dave gave me a heads up on this chick as the family approached me from behind (where I was sitting outside the fenced area), and I had a pretty decent shot at it.
Fences? These guys know nothin' about fences, but once they're hatched, their tiny eggs (that look just like pebbles in the sand; see the first comment for a pic) are no longer in danger of being stepped on by fishermen and beach combers, so there's no need for protective fencing once all the plover, AOC, and Least Tern eggs have hatched.
Note: This is the first image in a series of images,
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