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Ormond Nest Update July 26, 2023

Ormond Beach, Oxnard California

Total Nests

Active Nests

Hatched Nests

Failed Nests

Snowy Plover

64

10

46

8

Least Tern

19

0

13

6

The number of new snowy plover nests is definitely slowing down, and all activity is on the tideline. Our tideline team spotted a record number of snowy plovers outside the habitat, for a total of 95 adult plovers, 27 chicks and 16 snowy plover clutches. In that mix we had at least 6 Ormond Beach snowy plover fledglings.


One great find this week is a male bird with the band combination vv:bo. That's 2 violet bands on the left leg and a blue over orange band on the right leg. It turns out this is a snowy plover that was captive reared at the Santa Barbara Zoo and released to the wild in 2019. He is currently on his second nest at Ormond Beach. His first nest hatched, but the chicks did not survive so he has re-nested. From trail camera video we also see that he takes over nest incubation duties from his mate in the early afternoons, which is unusual for male snowy plovers. They typically only incubate eggs in the middle of the night and the females do many more hours of the nest care. Because he is recognizable and charismatic we are seeking to find a name for him, instead of referring to him as vv:bo. We have posted his video to our Instagram account and are seeking name suggestions.


Here is video of vv:bo on his first nest in June:


The below video has a good look at his vv:bo's band colors at his current nest, the speed is slowed down in the beginning to see those legs. We can also see that his new nest looks really similar to his old nest. He and his mate selected very similar habitat features for both nests - they put there eggs next to a small stick in the open sand.


We don't know if vv:bo re-mated with the same female, but she has a similar habit of standing in front of the camera and preening for a long time.


California Least Terns

No tern activity in the nesting habitat any more. The only least terns we are seeing are feeding their juveniles at the tideline. Juvenile least terns are really brown, hence why we fondly call them "brownies" this time of year. Adults continue to feed their young even after migration starts, so we don't actually know how long this goes on for. The photo below of an adult least tern feeding its newly fledged brownie was taken at Ormond Beach in 2022 by our summer intern Alex Vaca. Terns should be leaving very soon.
















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