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Bird observers anxiously await hatching of Maumee Bay piping plovers' eggs

Nellie and Nish's eggs are expected to hatch sometime before the 4th of July.

OREGON, Ohio — Editor's note: The above video originally aired on June 8.

Sometime in the next week, Maumee Bay State Park could be home to an event 83 years in the making.

That's when the four eggs belonging to piping plovers Nellie and Nish are expected to hatch.

Plovers are small sandy brown shorebirds that haven’t been seen nesting in the area since the 1930s.

Nellie and Nish are the first pair to be seen nesting on Lake Erie in Ohio since then and if and when they are able to hatch their young it will surely be a historic event.

RELATED: Excitement builds as piping plovers return to nest on Maumee Bay after 80+ years

Kimberly Kaufman, Executive Director of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory says although  plenty of people have come out to see the birds, watchers have been very respectful.

The two little birds even got a write up from the National Audubon Society.

Our two little superstar plovers continue to tend their four eggs - and captivate us all! And thanks to our friend...

Posted by Nellie & Nish: The Maumee Bay Piping Plovers on Thursday, June 24, 2021

Part of the inland beach has been cordoned off and closed to the public since the nest was discovered a few weeks ago.

Kaufman says once any eggs hatch, even more of the beach will probably need to be closed in order to protect the birds, but there will still be plenty of beach available for swimmers and sunbathers to enjoy.

It’s expected to happen sometime in the next week, most likely before July 4 as the young typically incubate between 24 and 28 days.

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There are concerns about how the birds will react with the large number of people that typically go to the beach for the July 4 weekend. Oregon is not having a fireworks show this year, which typically brings thousands of people to Maumee Bay.

Black Swamp Bird Observatory is working with Ohio State Parks, the Ohio Division of Wildlife, and US Fish and Wildlife service to protect the birds.

For more about Nellie and Nish, visit MaumeeBayPipingPlovers.org.

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