If anybody knows the challenges of being a mother, it is our beloved Chewie. For those of you who don’t know, Chewie is an endangered Piping Plover who has been nesting in Ontario for the past couple of years. First spotted in 2020, she laid one unsuccessful egg on Toronto Island. She tried again in 2021 at Darlington Provincial Park, and was unsuccessful in both of her attempts at nesting. She produced two clutches with four eggs each. They were predated each time.
Piping Plover. Photo: Diana Turchin
After another unsuccessful attempt at Darlington in 2022, she found herself on Toronto Island, almost a month behind schedule. Chewie and her mate, who was dubbed “Han,” got busy and laid their first egg just a week after they were spotted. Chewie ended up producing four eggs, and two of the four hatched and were raised to fledge. This is very impressive as late nests are faced with many threats, such as juvenile gulls on the shores, increased human activity, and more frequent heat waves. Chewie and Han were both devout parents, and their chicks flew south for the winter, after around eight weeks on the shores of Toronto island.
Chewie, Piping Plover. Photo: Diana Turchin
All of her hard work paid off, as one of her fledglings has been reported in Ontario this year. Chewie has also been reported back in the province, looking for another opportunity to be a mother. We have to admire Chewie’s determination in her efforts to become a mother. She was finally successful in her fifth attempt at nesting! This Mother’s Day, we want to honour all of the hardworking mothers out there, who put their best foot forward every day, just like Chewie. Happy Mother’s Day from Birds Canada.