- Associated Press - Saturday, May 24, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Give those piping plovers their privacy.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says at least five pairs of the endangered bird are nesting along the sandy shores of Hampton and Seabrook.

Their breeding habitat is fenced with yellow roping to keep beachgoers at bay and allow the mating pairs to nest and raise their young.

The department says within just a few hours of hatching, piping plover chicks are able to walk and feed on their own. The first few weeks are the most crucial, because the chicks are very small and hard to see and extremely vulnerable to gulls, crows, foxes, cats and dogs.

Since protection efforts began in 1997 through 2013, 83 nesting pairs of plovers have raised 113 chicks on New Hampshire’s seacoast.

“The sooner the birds nest, the sooner the chicks will hatch and grow big enough to be able to fly,” said Brendan Clifford, a biologist with the department’s nongame and endangered wildlife program. “Once the chicks are about 30 days old, they can fly and escape from danger and we can take down the fences that protect their breeding habitat and open up the whole beach for recreational use.”

The department is seeking volunteers to help with monitoring, once the plover chicks start to hatch around Memorial Day. Interested participants can call 603-419-9728.




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