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Great Lakes piping plovers had a record number of chicks

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
A piping plover at Fisherman's Island State Park near Charlevoix, Michigan. Piping Plovers have not nested at the site since 2004.

Michigan has had a record number of piping plover chicks.

That means the United States is nearly halfway to its goal of having 150 breeding pairs of piping plover parents.

There were 150 fledglings born this year to 72 breeding parents. Forty eight of those parents were in Michigan, making the mitten state the piping plover powerhouse.

A fledgling is a chick that has lived at least 23 days and can fly. Those babies have to face the elements, predators and humans before they get the chance to fly.

The Great Lakes piping plovers have been endangered since the 1980’s when as few as 12 to 17 pairs of the birds had fledglings.

Officials say good productivity in Michigan was due to lower lake levels this year, which created great habitats for the birds.

Researchers are hopeful these fledglings will be making fledglings of their own someday soon.

Briana Rice is a reporter/producer operating out of Detroit.
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