By GBLOCK@WDT.NET'>GORDON BLOCK
PUBLISHED: MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2016 AT 12:30 AM
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
On July 1, three piping plovers stand on the beach along Lake Ontario in Oswego County. A pair of piping plovers successfully nested on Lake Ontario’s shoreline for the first time in more than 30 years.
After three decades away, piping plovers made their return to Lake Ontario this past summer.
Now, researchers hope the shore birds’ progress in the region can continue.
James F. Faquhar, regional wildlife manager for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, said the key was the health of the Great Lakes and of beach areas where they reside.
“Conditions are likely better now than they have been before,” he said. “When you can provide an inviting environment, species will find it and they’ll come.”
Three adult plovers were spotted over the summer on New York’s Ontario shore, including a breeding pair in Jefferson County that hatched two chicks. One chick survived to migrate south in August.
“It bodes well that the birds came here,” Mr. Faquhar said. “They’re viewing this area now as a good place to nest again.”
The discovery of the shore bird was a collaboration between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state agencies and regional conservation groups.