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Eggs from the archives

Posted on Jun 5, 2014

There are dozens of pairs of Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers currently with nests or young hatchlings across the Connecticut coast. We are working seven days a week as a partner in the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds to provide stewardship and survey efforts for these birds with seasonal staff members, Audubon Connecticut staff and our tremendous volunteers, numbering well over 100 dedicated people. Least and Common Terns are also beginning to nest, a bit later than usual this year likely because of low prey populations (and maybe cooler water because of the extremely cold winter?).

One thing we rarely get to enjoy is seeing the eggs of these beautiful birds close up. I went into our archives here at RTPI and found these Piping Plover eggs.

PIPL eggs RTPI collection

They are in the top right of this case…and they are larger in comparison to the other listed species than I thought they would be! I have seen plenty through a spotting scope and while assisting CT DEEP but looking at them on a beach apparently takes away their relative size.

Here are both Least and Common Tern eggs in the center and bottom left of this case, respectively.

Tern eggs RTPI collection

And once again they are large, especially the Common Tern! These beach bird eggs all have similar sorts of color schemes as they all blend in perfectly with the sand and natural debris. Even when you know where a bird is on a nest – the exact location – it can be difficult to spot the eggs once it flies off of them. That is adaptation at its finest.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator