Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Gordons Pond Beach closes to protect plover nest

Division of Fish and Wildlife
Piping plovers nest on flat areas of sandy beach.

Part of the beach at Cape Henlopen Park’s Gordons Pond is now closed to help protect a newly discovered piping plover nest.

Fish and Wildlife Biologist Matt Bailey said the half-mile stretch of beach  will remain closed until the chicks are fledged late in the summer.

The size of a robin, the piping plover is the color of sand, easily blending in with its beach surroundings. they depend on flat, partially grassy sections of beach in order to nest, Bailey said.

“What they have evolved to depend on is storms coming in, hopefully during the non-nesting season, as happened this year during the fall and the winter, and knocking back certain sections of dunes,” he said.

The plovers have a special way of fending off predators, Bailey said. “The chicks have evolved to know that adults give a certain kind of peep. The chicks will just freeze. They’ll hunker down on the sand and just sit there.”

There are five other nests recorded this year in other parts of the park. Bailey said, though unlikely, as many as three more plover nests could pop up on the beach at Gordons Pond this season.