Snowy plover breeding means increased patrols at beaches, parks

The Times-Standard

Western snowy plover by Sean McAllister — Contributed

Shown here are newly hatched western snowy plover chicks with an egg still in the nest. Western snowy plover breeding season began this month. Sean McAllister — Contributed

The breeding season of the western snowy plover started this month, prompting state park officials to increase patrol efforts to protect the bird.

Nests of snowy plovers can be found at Little River State Beach, Humboldt Lagoons State Park and Gold Bluffs Beach in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

“State Parks would like to remind beachgoers to walk with caution on the dry sandy areas of the beach where plovers habitually nest, as the nests are well camouflaged and not easily identifiable,” a California Department of Parks and Recreation news release states.

The snowy plover breeding season typically lasts from March through September. Threats to the snowy plover include ravens and crows who feed on eggs.

While there are signs and fencing posted around the nesting areas, the snowy plovers — a species of shorebird classified as a federally threatened — can nest outside of the protected areas. (read more)

Photo Credit: Della Huff