Pacifica Tribune/Western Snowy Plovers return to Pacifica State Beach, 1/13/15.

  You looking at me?
75% roosting decline in Pacifica, but
does that mean 75% increase further south?
"Visitors to Pacifica State Beach on Christmas day had the holiday treat of seeing 12 Western Snowy Plovers. As many as 60 visitors from all over the world got a close-up look through binoculars shared by two enthusiastic volunteers. On New Year's Day, 17 plovers were sighted on the beach.

This winter season there has been an encouraging up-tick in the number of plovers on Linda Mar Beach.  ....  Volunteers are delighted to learn that the snowy plovers have been seen inside the protected symbolic fencing area, north of Crespi Drive, as well as foraging for kelp flies and beach hoppers out on the flat beach and at the wrack line."  Read more. 

Related article - San Francisco Chronicle/Local: in Peninsula Coastside/John Maybury, 6/25/10.
"These tiny snowy plovers (see above) have lost most of their natural habitat along the coast, but a few of these endangered shorebirds still call Pacifica State Beach at Linda Mar home." 

Reference -  City of Pacifica/Pacifica State Beach.  "Western Snowy Plovers.  Seasonal fencing to protect the western snowy plover was installed north of the Crespi path entrance on the west side of the dunes at Pacifica State Beach Friday, August 15 as part of the plan to protect the threatened bird.  The fencing will remain up until the plovers leave in mid-April and will be removed for the summer until mid-August. In Pacifica, snowy plovers over-winter -- usually arriving mid-August and leaving sometime in March or April. During this time they fatten up on rich protein diet of kelp flies, beach hoppers, other insects and small invertebrates washed up on the beach, and occasionally in the back dunes. 
When not foraging, snowy plovers nestle down in the sand, low enough to be warmed by radiant heat and still have a view out to the sea. Their primary defense is sitting still and blending in.
These birds are on the federal endangered species list because with so many people now also using the beach, this main method of defense is not enough to keep them from being disturbed. The western Snowy Plover winter roosting population at Pacifica State Beach has declined by 75 percent over the last 12 years."

Note Photographs:  single plover from the San Francisco Chronicle article, community roosting from the Pacifica Beach Coalition.

Posted by Kathy Meeh