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Great Lakes piping plover chicks this year are a hopeful sign for the endangered bird

A Piping Plover glares at Jones Beach, Long Island, N.Y. A couple of these endangered birds have reappeared in Chicago.
Vicki Jauron, Babylon and Beyond
/
Getty Images
A Piping Plover glares at Jones Beach, Long Island, N.Y. A couple of these endangered birds have reappeared in Chicago.

Piping plover chicks are scurrying along some Great Lakes beaches right now. The endangered species looks to be doing better this year.

There are 74 nesting pairs of the birds this year. That's up slightly from the average over recent years.

Erica Adams coordinates keeping watch over the birds at Sleeping Bear Dunes. She says sometimes predators kill the birds. Biologists then rescue the eggs. "We have a partnership with the Detroit Zoo and the University of Minnesota that will then take those eggs, put them in a captive rearing facility, complete the incubation period. The chicks will hatch and then usually they're released back in the park," she says.

The Great Lakes piping plover population was down to 17 breeding pairs before it was put on the Endangered Species List in 1986.