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Piping Plovers and Least Terns of
the Great Plains and Nearby

A draft protocol for assessing piping plover reproductive success
on Great Plains alkali lakes


Appendix A -- Nesting chronology for Great Plains alkali lakes

 GIF -- Nesting Chronology Bar Graph
Fig 1. Chronological distribution of piping plover nest initiation on alkali lake breeding sites in central North Dakota (1992-94 [B. Root, unpubl data]), northwestern North Dakota (1994-97 [K. Smith and R. Murphy, unpubl data]), and northeastern Montana (1988-90 [calculated from Table 2 in Smith 1991]). Based on average annual means; excludes known renesting attempts.

Central North Dakota
(The Nature Conservancy - Williams Preserve)
Northeastern Montana
(Medicine Lake NWR and eastern Sheridan Co.)
  • Arrival 17 April - 4 May
  • Arrival 21 April-5 May
  • Unsuccessful adults leave late June through early July
  • More than two thirds of young fledged by end of July
  • Successful adults and young begin leaving late July
  • All plovers gone by 15 August (Smith 1991; M.
    Rabenberg, unpubl rep)
  • All plovers gone by second week in August
    (Prindiville Gaines and Ryan 1988)
  • Median annual nest initiation and hatch dates
    (1992-94) 10-15 May and 16-20 June (B.
    Root, unpubl data, 1992-94)

Northwestern North Dakota
(Lostwood NWR and northern Mountrail Co.)
Central Saskatchewan
(Big Quill Lake)
  • Arrival 20 April - 5 May
  • Arrival 21-24 April
  • Successful adults and young begin leaving in late July
  • Initiation range 4-31 May
  • All plovers gone by end of third week in August
  • Unsuccessful adults leave mid-June through early July
  • Median annual nest initiation and hatch dates (1994-
    97) 23-25 May and 27-29 June (K. Smith and R.
    Murphy, unpubl data)
  • Successful adults and young leave late July (Whyte 1985)


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