‘Super Dads, Western Snowy Plover Edition’ – Redhead black belt
This is a press release from Friends of the Dunes:
Let’s celebrate all the amazing dads this weekend… even the 2 oz. those with feathers! Federally threatened Western Snow Plover males become the primary caretakers of the chicks after they hatch. The first thirty days of a chick’s life are crucial for its survival. During these days, adult males spend the majority of their time keeping their chicks warm, protecting them from harm, and teaching them how to find their own food. During the breeding season, which runs from March to September, a male plover can breed 2-3 times. These Super Bucks definitely deserve to win the “World’s # 1 Daddy” Coffee Mug!
To celebrate these wonderful, hard-working shorebirds, let’s make sure to respect their young and their habitat. Plovers live, nest and raise their young on open sandy beaches with sparse native vegetation and hunt small insects along the wrack line. Nests and chicks are well camouflaged and blend easily into the sand to help ward off predators like crows and skunks. For this reason, we have to be very careful on the beaches during the summer. Even the most well-meaning person and well-behaved dog can pose a threat by accidentally stepping on plover chicks and eggs, or disturbing adults (including dads) while they are brooding. The latter can make eggs and chicks vulnerable to predation.
This summer, while enjoying our beautiful north coast, there are some things you can do to ensure the protection and survival of the endangered Western Snow Plover:
- Respect all marked and / or demarcated areas for the protection of wildlife.
- When you walk on the beach, stay on the wet and compacted sand. Stay away from birds or nests.
- Avoid prolonged picnics or sunbathing near plover nesting habitat.
- Camp or build fires only in designated areas.
- Make sure you know the specific dog rules at the beach before you go. If dogs are allowed, follow leash rules and don’t let your dog play in areas of dry sand where birds are more likely to nest. Never let your dog chase birds.
- Do not leave or bury garbage or food scraps on the beach. Garbage attracts predators such as gulls, crows, crows and skunks. Please dispose of all waste properly and do not inadvertently (or intentionally) feed wildlife.
- If you are on a beach that allows vehicles, drive “low and slow”, staying on compacted sand below the high tide line.
- Avoid flying kites or other hovering objects near plover nesting habitat.
To balance recreation opportunities and wildlife protection along the northern coast, beach activities may be limited to certain areas during the critical nesting period, March 15 to September 15. You can do your part by knowing and following the location specific rules and regulations. For more information on the western snow plover, beach rules and regulations, beach access, and a dog friendly guide, visit: