[CT Birds] 2016 Piping Plover/American Oystercatcher update

Scott Kruitbosch skruitbosch at rtpi.org
Wed Dec 28 15:42:25 EST 2016

Good afternoon, all! I thought it would be a terrific time to update 
everyone on our Piping Plover and American Oystercatcher numbers for 
2016 as we near the end of our year: http://rtpi.org/2016-aafcw-totals/

Audubon Connecticut and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural 
History are proud to be partners for the upcoming Audubon Alliance for 
Coastal Waterbirds' (AAfCW) sixth season in 2017, and over the past few 
years we have had a number of tremendous success stories thanks to you. 
Our incredible 2014 season included an all-time record high number of 
fledged Piping Plovers for Connecticut with 116 birds. Results from the 
phenomenal 2015 season indicated we had the second highest number of 
fledged chicks ever at 112, right behind our own 2014 record. We also 
set the all-time record number of breeding pairs of Piping Plovers for 
the state in 2015 at 62, but this was broken in 2016 with 63 pairs!

These birds produced 87 fledged chicks for a productivity rate of 1.38 
chicks per pair, well above the federal recovery goal of 1.2 chicks per 
pair. High tide events, storms, predators and unfortunate human 
incidents all led to a decline in fledged chicks from the previous two 
seasons, but it was nevertheless the fourth highest total ever for our 

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is 
still finalizing the official numbers for Least Terns nesting in 2016. 
However, we have completed our report for the American Oystercatcher, 
and it is yet more great news as a record high number of 63 pairs nested 
in Connecticut in 2016. These birds produced 53 fledglings for a 
productivity rate of .84 chicks per pair, the second highest total of 
chicks fledged and the second highest productivity rate ever recorded in 
the state. Our daily work to protect breeding areas, from the beaches to 
remote offshore islands, is undoubtedly behind this increase in nesting 
attempts and success.

We would like to thank our hundreds of volunteers for putting in 
approximately 4,000 volunteer hours as tallied through only the first 
three quarters of 2016! None of this work could be done without you 
dedicated citizen scientists. Remember that our efforts extend through 
the end of the year as we survey for birds such as the Black-bellied 
Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Killdeer, Ruddy Turnstone, lingering egrets, 
herons and more that spend the winter with us.

Audubon Connecticut and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural 
History are looking forward to what will be a very busy and extremely 
important 2017 field season – starting in less than three months – after 
Hurricane Matthew tore through the Bahamas and the wintering grounds of 
many Piping Plovers: 

Hundreds or more may have perished, and we may have fewer pairs 
returning to us, making our stewardship and outreach efforts all the 
more important for those that have survived and will depend on 
Connecticut to recover from these losses. As always, if you have 
questions about the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds or wish to 
volunteer, please email us. Donations are also greatly appreciated.

Our deepest thanks to all of our volunteers once again and a Happy New Year!

Scott Kruitbosch
RTPI Conservation & Outreach Coordinator
AAfCW Volunteer Coordinator

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator
Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History
311 Curtis Street
Jamestown, NY 14701
skruitbosch at rtpi.org
rtpi.org <http://www.rtpi.org>
Celebrating Wild America

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