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Nest Survey - Week 2 in 2024 3/22/24

Ormond Beach, Oxnard California

Total Nests

Active Nests

Hatched Nests

Failed Nests

Snowy Plover





Least Tern





This week was the second survey of the season. We were so surprised to find the first nests. According to the calendar snowy plover nesting season starts on March 15 of each year, but according to snowy plovers it's a lot more complicated. We had a really rainy February and March, and now that the weather is getting nice, the plovers aren't wasting any time. Our first nest last year wasn't established until March 30th.

Snowy plover nest 2

Snowy plover nest 1

We've also found a number of killdeer nests and there are a number of horned larks singing from the dunes. We mark and document all nests we find, and try to avoid nests of other bird species on future surveys to minimize disturbance. The photo below of one of the killdeer nests. Killdeer and snowy plovers are in the same family, and they have a lot of the same nesting strategies. They both make nest "scrapes" in the sand for nests, and decorate the scrape around the eggs with bits of shells. Only killdeer eggs a much larger and darker than snowy plovers, and they lay 4 eggs instead of 3.

Killdeer nest

We also saw some banded snowy plovers. One is our old friend from years past, y/w:y (a yellow and white band on the left leg, yellow band on the right). This bird is from Coos Bay Oregon and has been successfully nesting on Ormond Beach for the past 3 years. We are so happy he is still with us and looking forward to finding his nest. We spotted a bird with a new band combination we haven't seen yet, wo:og (white over orange left leg, orange over green right leg). We have submitted the band combo to the snowy plover banding sites and are waiting to hear back who banded this bird. Stay tuned!

Coos Bay Oregon plover, y/w:y - photo by CaitlynBarrera

Finally, we were sad to find 250 feet of cable wire has already been stolen, along with several t-posts that have been knocked down and mesh cut. We made repairs today to all the damaged fencing we found and will be replacing the stolen fencing.

Cut fencing

Beginning of stolen cable wire

We are just starting up our volunteer program and will be having our first Beach Naturalist workshop for volunteers on Sunday April 14th on the CSUCI campus and Ormond Beach. Please contact our volunteer coordinator if you would like to join our team. We rely on volunteers to patrol the beach and keep an eye on things. Also to help repair fencing, post signs and collect data! Contact to be added to our distribution list.


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