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Read by Dave and Charley

Two weeks ago we set out a few questions for you all to answer relating our caring for the young topic. To remind everyone these were the questions:

  1. Can you draw/make your very own gannet nest?
  2. Why do some seabirds only lay 1 egg, whilst others lay 2-3 eggs?
  3. How far does a puffin go to find food for its chick?
  4. Why can’t gannets fly when they first leave the nest?
  5. Why do ringed plovers pretend to have a broken wing?
  1. For the first question please send in your pictures and drawings in to us and we will put them up on the website.
  2. Birds with more exposed nests will often lay more eggs to stand a better chance of successfully raising at least one chick. Species that are larger, or nest in secluded locations, only lay one egg as they can protect it better and dedicate all their time to successfully raising it.
  3. Puffins can go 100km from the burrow to find food, but will always try and stay within 50km when rearing a chick.
  4. Gannets are actually overfed on the nest by their parents, so they are too fat to fly when they fledge. But they quickly loose weight and learn to fly from the water.
  5. Ringed plovers distract potential threats and predators to their nest by pretending to have a broken wing and luring the threat away from the nest as they look like an easy target; until they then fly away when the nest is safe.

ECOLOGIST'S UPDATE

Another update on our ringed plovers where we thought there was just one pair on Platte Saline that has already raised two chicks and laid a second clutch. However, recently we found a second pair on Platte Saline! This second pair had one nest of three eggs that unfortunately failed; it then tried again with a nest of two eggs that also failed. Whilst it is unfortunate that the second pair has failed twice it is still a positive sign that the colony is growing - this second pair is likely inexperienced and will hopefully be more experienced and successful next year. At least the first pair is still incubating its eggs well.

However, in better news for the plovers we have recently discovered that they not only breed on Platte Saline, but they have now expanded around the corner with two nests on Clonque Beach as well! This is very interesting as it shows our colony is really beginning to grow. It is even better as one pair of birds on Clonque already has two chicks that are close to fledging and the second pair has a nest of four eggs. This obviously means they are breeding well and we hope to find out more about this expansion through the remainder of the breeding season.

A new nest on Clonque of 4 eggs

A new nest on Clonque of 4 eggs

Finding the chicks on the pebble beach can be very tricky!

Finding the chicks on the pebble beach can be very tricky!