Coastal Ecology Program Series Post 1: Meet Rory!
Hi everyone! With the 2021 field season now in full swing I’d like to give a brief update on some of the shorebird conservation work currently happening Duxbury Beach, and introduce myself! My name is Rory Eggleston, and this is my second year working on Duxbury Beach. I have a background in behavioral and conservation ecology and recently graduated from UT Rio Grande Valley with an MSc in biology. During my time in Texas I often assisted with various endangered shorebird surveys and research, including concerning Piping Plovers.
This year, I am the Lead Monitor Supervisor, which essentially means that I, along with the other two monitor supervisors, will be coordinating the Shorebird Monitors in their surveying and observing of Piping Plover broods on Duxbury Beach, as well as helping to manage brood crossings. You’ll likely see me out and about on the beach throughout the weeks to come, checking on Shorebird Monitors, helping to locate plover broods, performing fencing maintenance, and various other tasks!
The nesting season for Piping Plovers has started earlier than in 2020, with the first nest being found in late April. This past week in particular, the number of nests has really picked up, with nineteen nests found as of Monday, May 10th! Prior to this, male Piping Plovers were first to arrive on the beach in March, and began setting up territories for when the females arrived in April. It’s always fascinating watching pair set up and defend territories-although most of the plovers that nest on Duxbury Beach are not banded, so it can be difficult to recognize individuals, we do know that nests are often found in the same rough areas every year, so it is likely that the same individuals are returning to those locations!
Based off of the most recent nesting seasons, there are 25-30 Piping Plover pairs that nest on Duxbury Beach, so with 19 nests, we’re more than half way there! And then on to hatching!