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First Snowy Plover Chicks, Least Terns are Here Week 8 update

Ormond Beach, Oxnard California - 5/5/24

Total Nests

Active Nests

Hatched Nests

Failed Nests

Snowy Plover





Least Tern





Least terns have arrived! We heard them for the first time this week. They are right on schedule, as we typically see them the first week of May. We will be watching carefully over the nest few weeks for nests, which normally come in mid to late June.

So far most of the failed snowy plover nests have been due to abandonment, which has been higher than normal for the early part of the season. It's either the weather or predators targeting adult birds. But in the last 2 weeks we've had a number of snowy plover nests hatch, and this week we captured our first chicks on video. Below is video from snowy plover nest #16. Note the camera is tipped sideways. This is because of a wind event that happened a few days before the nest hatched. The wind blew the camera over. See the night time video below.

Now that we have chicks on the beach it is a critical time to protect the tideline from disturbance. We have a volunteer Beach Naturalist workshop coming up on May 25th. Click here to learn more

Snowy Plover Nest 8 and Nest 12 hatching, photos by Rachel Ameche

We are still having wind events pretty regularly, one of our trail cameras picked up this video of the male snowy plover on nest 16 five days before the nest hatched. These birds are well adapted to handle this kind of weather. The problem occurs when there is excessive disturbance during a wind event like this that would keep the bird off of its nest.

Finally our old friend Sunny, a snowy plover hatched in Coos Bay Oregon, has been spotted regularly on surveys foraging at the tideline. We see him near one of our fenced habitats where he has nested and reared chicks for the past 3 years. We are pretty sure one of the nests in there belongs to him. So we are hoping to see him with chicks soon.

Our Oregon bird "Sunny" band combo y/w:y, photo by Rachel Ameche


Awww that amazing. 🥰


such precious babies!

Replying to

They are! I don't think there's anything cuter than snowy plover babies.

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