Natural and experimental adoption of piping plover chicks

  • Published source details Flemming S.P. (1987) Natural and experimental adoption of piping plover chicks. Journal of Field Ornithology, 58, 270-273.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Foster eggs or chicks of waders with wild conspecifics

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Foster eggs or chicks of waders with wild conspecifics

    A small trial on a beach in Nova Scotia, Canada in July 1983 (Flemming 1987) found that a pair of piping plovers Charadrius melodus adopted a chick introduced to their brood after it was abandoned by its parents when one day old. The foster parents brooded the chick but, following heavy rains on the day of introduction, it disappeared and is assumed to have died. The author suggests that its weakened condition, due to being abandoned by its parents meant that it could not survive the rainstorm, whereas its ‘stepsiblings’ could and were later seen flying.


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