Imani, the young male Piping Plover and son of Rose and Monty, was still at Montrose in late June. His behavior has changed dramatically however. In late May and early June we would often hear him calling before we saw him and his slow motion flight display over the Dunes was an aerodynamic sight to behold. He was feeling his oats and ready to start a family and carry on Monty and Rose’s lineage. By late June the displaying and aggressive behavior towards other birds had stopped. He became harder to find and even disappeared for a few days. A female Piping Plover never showed up, which is probably the reason for Imani’s more subdued behavior. How long he will stay at Montrose is uncertain. Without a mate and the potential for a family he doesn’t have much incentive to hang around. The good news is that Imani is young, only about a year old, and there’s always next year.
Here we are, two full weeks into June and we’re still getting a few late spring migrants at Montrose. Historically, Semipalmated Sandpipers are one of the last northbound migrants we see. This one was dancing with its shadow at Montrose Beach on June 17. In just a couple weeks the first southbound shorebirds will start appearing. There almost isn’t a time when migration isn’t happening.
If you’ve been to Montrose early in the morning this June, you may have noticed Black-crowned Night-Herons gathered around the edge of the harbor. These birds are fishing. The edge of the harbor is too high above the water for the herons to reach by extending their necks, so when they see a fish they have to fly to the surface, catch it, and fly back to land to eat. It must be worth the effort – Black-crowned Night-Herons have been a common sight on the east side of the harbor this month. The photo shows 8 Black-crowned Night-Herons lined up and alert, bills pointed down, and eyes scanning the water for small fish. The Golf Course Pond is another good place to look for Black-crowned Night-Herons in summer. See the Montrose Glossary for descriptions of these places.
Imani the Piping Plover confronted a Killdeer on the morning of June 7, 2022. Standing erect with chest puffed out he showed the larger Killdeer who the boss of the beach is. Imani is being hyper territorial, performing display flights over the Dunes, calling frequently, and chasing other birds who dare to enter his space. This aggressive behavior is an encouraging sign. It shows he has staked out the Dunes and is ready and able to defend it. The only missing element now is a female Piping Plover. If she shows up she’ll have a worthy partner in Imani.
Monty would be proud of his son.
A sample of birds from Montrose on June 3. This is why you should keep birding in June
Lots of photos are on my eBird checklist for the day, URL below.
June 3, 2022
June is here and you should keep birding Montrose, at least for a week or two. Spring migration doesn’t come to a dead stop when May ends. Early June is an excellent time for flycatchers, cuckoos, and later warblers like Mourning and and Wilson’s. Also, shorebirds will continue to move through, and there’s always a chance something unusual will show up, like that Snowy Plover. As always, check the Montrose Point eBird Hotspot for the latest sightings.