LUDLOW, Vermont ??вЂќ One might say that new residents are “flocking” to make their homes at Jackson Gore prior to the completion of its second phase of construction. This week, construction workers noticed the nesting site of a shore bird in the gravel among the erection of three new buildings at Okemo Mountain Resort: the Adams House (fractional-ownership residences), the Okemo Fitness and Aquatic Center and a multi-function sports arena that will house a skating rink and tennis and basketball courts.
“I was walking the new Fitness and Aquatic Center site this afternoon with Bob Cunningham of Bread Loaf Corporation, the Jackson Gore project contractor,” said Okemo Director of Real Estate Planning and Development Ted Reeves, “when Bob pointed out this Killdeer and her nest. Even in the midst of all the construction, this Killdeer chose this spot for her nest.”
The Killdeer, an 8- to 11-inch-long member of the plover family, is the most widespread and familiar of the American plovers. The Killdeer is one of the most successful shorebirds due to its fondness for human-modified habitat and its willingness to nest close to people. Although many species of birds lure predators from their nests using distraction tactics, the Killdeer is the one most commonly seen performing its “broken-wing” display. For larger predators, the Killdeer fluffs itself up, displaying its tail over its head and charges at the predator to encourage it to change its path.
The nesting Killdeer at Jackson Gore will have nothing to worry about. Construction workers have marked the site so no one will disturb this newest resident as she broods over her clutch and raises her chicks.
“An ‘atta boy’ for the construction guys,” says Reeves. “They put up the grade stakes and ribbon to protect the nest.”
Jackson Gore, one of five alpine skiing and snowboarding expanses that make up Okemo Mountain Resort, is the newest addition to the 620-plus acres of terrain available to winter enthusiasts at Okemo. Of the resort??в„ўs 18 lifts, two surface lifts and two high-speed, four-person chair lifts service a variety of terrain for all ability levels at Jackson Gore. At the base area, where Phase II is underway, the Jackson Gore Inn features elegantly appointed slopeside accommodations and the Roundhouse, a day lodge with ample seating and a convenient on-the-go food court. Other base area amenities include full-service dining, a guest services center, day care center, guest fitness center and swimming pool, Snow Stars learning center, real estate sales office, ski/snowboard shop, sundries shop, equipment rental/repair shop, video arcade, meeting rooms and underground parking ??вЂњ all accessible by covered walkways offering sub-surface heating for more efficient snowmelt during the winter months.
For information about nesting sites for people at Jackson Gore, please call (877) 952-2576 or visit www.jacksongore.okemo.com.