I bring you tidings of great joy on a bleak day down the shore: the first egg of Plover Park’s 2023 season has just dropped. It belongs to an unbanded pair of American Oystercatchers who, based on both the nest location and their habitat usage, is most likely the same pair who nested in the Park last year and successfully fledged one beautiful little chicky.
As I’ve mentioned before, Plover Park is unfortunately named because it’s really not just for the Piping Plover. It’s there for all of the beach nesting birds who are running out of places to hide in this world and just need a humble little place to call home for the summer.
Longtime readers and visitors to Barnegat Light State Park probably remember the legendary Oystercatcher “T2” and how he struggled for so long to catch a break. We have to believe that watching his years of sad failures were no small part of the incredible wave of will and motivation that turned Plover Park from a dream to a reality. So thanks, T2!
I’d love to say that T2 would be “proud” but in reality he would probably be quite angry about this pair and this egg, and would be fighting with the pair and generally being a jerk. But no biggie. That’s just how AMOY roll.
Cheers to our unbanded superstars who have claimed the most precious title of all: FIRST!
I’ll confess I have a bit of AMOY Fever this summer. The Little Egg Foundation has recently teamed up with the American Oystercatcher Working Group to roll out a standard protocol for collecting data about Oystercatchers across their entire range along the east coast. We are currently working on a trial run in four states this summer using my NestStory software. It is really exciting because it is going to help everyone who works with Oystercatchers across their entire range to share their successes and failures and collaborate more easily and more effectively.
The end result should be more tiny victories and happy outcomes like this little gem which appeared magically in Plover Park today.
The support of the AMOY Working Group has officially made American Oystercatchers the most important beach nesting species in NestStory. So step aside Plovers, Skimmers, and Terns. This might just be the Summer of AMOY.
And watch out. AMOY Fever is highly contagious!
A welcome sight, and hoping the egg stays safe!
Our AmOys haven’t even arrived yet!
They are on the way for sure! We have our second nest now.