On May 27th there were 3 Snowy Plover Eggs were present in the nest. On the morning of May 28th, only 1 egg was to found in the nest. 2 Snowy Plovers hatched overnight or earlier in the morning on May 28th prior to our arrival at the nest.
7:07am - Walking to 1st photo spot
I photographed a Wilson’s Plover carrying part of an eggshell while enroute to my first photo spot. (I did not see the eggshell until after I got home to review my photos) The eggshell looks to me like it was a Snowy Plover eggshell piece from and egg that had recently hatched. It may have been an eggshell from one of the 2 Snowy Plovers that hatched overnight.
7:17am - Least Tern nesting area
Least Terns were feeding and watching their babies
Other Least Terns were sitting on eggs
7:37am - Black Skimmer Colony
A colony of Black Skimmers was also present. Many of the skimmers were preening on the ground, with some flying and running around with fish.
8:13am - Snowy Plover Nest
We moved on to the Snowy Plover nest where a single egg was located... We approached low and slow as to not disturb nearby wildlife.
8:18am - The snowy plover mother joins the father 30-40 feet away for a quick break from the nest, watching the two hatched babies.
Luckily the egg blends in with the sand and the nest was well located.
8:34am - Mom starts acting odd and making calls while on the nest. She appeared to twitch a few times and I thought maybe she was warming up the egg.
8:39am - Mom leaves the nest again to watch over the two babies with Dad.
8:42am - The Egg starts to Hatch
A small hole started on the backside of the egg at first... then more cracks started to show on top of the egg
8:48am - The baby has made a major crack towards the middle of the egg.
8:54am - The baby finally pushes through and breaks the egg open, falling forward.
9:02am - Mom comes back to the nest to see that her baby has hatched.
She begins to sit on the nest with her newborn chick.
9:20am Mom starts removing egg shell pieces and takes them away from the nest.
9:23am - The newborn Snowy Plover takes its first steps
9:42am - Mom walks off and calls to the baby, trying to get it to come to her. The newborn looks at Mom.
9:46am - The newborn baby attempts to walk towards mom but falls and can’t make it yet. She tries a few times to motivate the baby to walk towards her with no luck.
9:48am - The newest hatchling and one of its older siblings both seek shelter under Mom.
9:54am - Mom leaves again to try and get the newborn to walk towards her. The baby makes some progress, and makes it a couple feet to the next patch of grass before taking a rest.
9:55am - Mom is back, and leaves again. No progress
10:00am - Baby takes shelter under Mom again.
10:08am - Baby follows mom to a small patch of grass much farther away. Mom covers baby again for a minute before walking off again.
10:09am - Baby moves to a larger patch of grass a foot or two away from where it was.
10:12am - Mom comforts baby again.
10:14am - Mom leaves again. The newborn baby starts walking towards Mom and makes it over a long distance.
10:17am - The newborn meets its two siblings and Dad for the first time.
10:24am - The newborn Snowy Plover is walking faster, and much longer distances.
What an incredible day out on the beach with friends and memories that will not be forgotten. Watching a Snowy Plover from Egg, to hatching, to the first steps, and running around within 90 minutes of being born was quite an amazing experience. I am currently working on a video compilation including the Snowy Plover hatching, its first steps, and more.
Sign up for my newsletter by entering your email at the bottom of this page to be alerted on new blog posts, videos, and more!
Comments will be approved before showing up.