Open Spaces: Meet the Species: Western Snowy Plover

Meet the Species: Western Snowy Plover

It's the middle of July, which means it's also the middle of the snowy plover monitoring season!

The western snowy plover is a small shorebird about 6 inches long that lives on the West Coast. We're currently working with the National Park Service at places like Point Reyes National Seashore to help with restoration efforts.

snowyplover(Western snowy plover chicks huddle with an egg. Photo: USFWS)

Pacific coast plovers generally munch on invertebrates in wet or dry beach-sand.

Their breeding season lasts from March to September, although courtship has been seen as early as February. Female plovers are polyandrous (females usually mate with more than one male), although both mother and father share incubation duties. After the chicks are born, though, the females usually leave their brood and the male plover takes over all rearing duties.

The plump-looking, Pacific plover is listed as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and a Recovery Plan was established back in 2007.

Learn more about how you can help and become a volunteer!

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Last updated: June 21, 2012