New Signs up at the Estuary, it's Nesting time for Snowy Plover at the Estuary!
Apr 17, 2016 08:24AM
By Paul Spear
New Signs up at the Estuary, it's Nesting time for Snowy Plover at the Estuary!As one of our "Birds of the Week" Bryan Brillhart did an excellent job of covering this bird and telling us all about it. For those of you who missed it or would just like to read it again, here it is.
Bryan Brillhart of Bryan Brillhart Photography presents us with the Dig Imperial Beach “Bird of the Week.. This week’s bird is the ““Snowy Plover.."
If you would like to see more of Bryan's Bird Photos, you can click on this link:
The Snowy Plover. is a threatened small shorebird, approximately the size of a sparrow. Our
own Tijuana Estuary is one of California's most important nesting areas. Plover nests usually contain three tiny eggs, which are camouflaged to look like sand and barely visible to even the most well-trained eye. Plovers will use almost anything they can find on the beach to make their nests, including kelp, driftwood, shells, rocks, and even human footprints. They are very vulnerable to intrusion from off leash dogs and beach vehicles. All of these activities can frighten or harm plovers during their breeding season. Energy is very important to this small bird. Every time humans, dogs, or other predators cause the birds to take flight or run away, they lose precious energy that is needed to maintain their nests. Often, when a plover parent is disturbed, it will abandon its nest, which increases the chance of a predator finding the eggs, sand blowing over and covering the nest, or the eggs getting cold. This can decrease the number of chicks that hatch in a particular year. Did you know that a kite flying overhead looks like a predator to a plover? A kite over a nesting area can keep an adult off the nest for long periods of time.
There are many key things YOU can do to help save the western snowy plover! Allowing these small birds to remain in their breeding area, undisturbed, throughout the breeding season is most important. People should be able to recreate on the beaches AND there should be room for plovers to nest, too. The idea is to "Share the Shore." This means having fun while protecting our natural environment at the same time.
Photography c/o Bryan Brillhart