Endangered piping plovers return to Del. beach

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May 11, 2010 5:08:40 AM PDT
A storm that flattened part of the beach at Delaware's Cape Henlopen has created a natural breeding ground for piping plovers.

Environmental officials say six pairs of the tiny, threatened shorebirds have scraped away the sand and built nests. On Monday, all six nests had eggs in them.

Wildlife biologist Matthew Bailey says piping plovers like flat beaches for nesting because they provide clear views of approaching predators. Still, workers are installing wire enclosures around some of the nests to keep out foxes, cats and sea gulls.

Cape Henlopen Point is closed to pedestrians and vehicles during the beach nesting season.

The birds are listed nationally as threatened. In Delaware, they're considered endangered.