On CHNS beaches, bird nesting season is finishing

Published 7:43 am Friday, August 26, 2022

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The National Park Services resource report shows that as of Aug. 18, 2022, the American oystercatcher and piping plover beach season is finished.

This season 45 oystercatcher nests were counted. Five chicks fledged.

For the piping plover, five nests resulted in one fledged chick.

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Colonial waterbirds still have 10 chicks on the beach. For this season, 790 nests were counted resulting in 252 fledged chicks so far. Some 128 of those chicks were on Hatteras Island.

Now, sea turtle nests are starting to hatch. As of August 18, 364 nests have been counted and 80 have hatched.

Seashore biologists excavate hatched nests, counting empty eggshells and collecting unhatched eggs for research. Occasionally live and dead hatchings are found. Nest excavations add to the databases for the seashore and North Carolina.

Those interested in finding out when and where an excavation will take place should call the excavation program hotline at 252-475-9629. The excavations are now going on. Notice is only one day in advance.

On northern Outer Banks beaches, N.E.S.T. reports 42 turtle nests with 32 still incubating as of Aug. 22, 2022.

On Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, 52 nests have been counted with 44 remaining to hatch as of Aug. 22.

And for beach drivers, all of Cape Point is open through Ramp 44. As of Aug. 22, a small closure for least tern chicks stops beach drivers but pedestrians can walk out Ramp 44 and continue on to Ramp 49 in Frisco.

Ramp 44 opens at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m.