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PHOTO: ALECIA SMITH

SHOREBIRD RECOVERY PROGRAM

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PHOTO: ALECIA SMITH

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PHOTO: ALECIA SMITH

The California Least Terns (CLT), the smallest of the North American terns, arrive in April and nest in colonies on beaches near lagoons, estuaries, or harbors. They nest on barren or sparsely vegetated open beaches. After nesting season, they fly away to winter somewhere off the coast of Brazil. Scientists are still sorting out their migratory movements.

The Western Snowy Plover (WSP) uses Ventura County beaches year-round.  In the winter they gather in loose flocks above the tide line to molt and recover from nesting season.  From March - Sept, they spread out into territories, and establish nests in the dunes and raise their young.  They may produce several nests throughout the long season.

Both species place their nests right on the sand in a shallow depression called a scrape. Their cryptically colored eggs blend in with the sand to avoid being seen by predators, hence they are very difficult for people to see. Chicks hatch covered in downy feathers and are flightless for several weeks, relying on their parents for protection and warmth. Soon after the chicks hatch, they leave the nest and began to search the beach for food.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

There are two beaches in Ventura County, Ormond and Hollywood, that do not have an entity (such as CA State Parks or US Navy) responsible for WSP or CLT species recovery.  In order to help these species, VAS has developed a Shorebird Recovery Program for Ormond and Hollywood beaches.

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Field Trips

Share the Shore

Beach Naturalists Program:

Classroom and Field Training, 

Beach Patrols, Greeting the Public, 

Nest Watch, Wrack Survey, Bird Surveys

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Predator exlosures

Signage

Habitat fencing

Symbolic Fencing

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Nest Monitoring

Breeding Surveys

Habitat Assessment

Winter Plover Surveys

Report Banded Snowy Plovers

Annual Nesting Reports

WHAT WE DO
Watch Our Video that Describes our Program

If you'd like to support our program, we welcome your donation. Specify “Shorebird Recovery Program” if you would like to directly support our California Least Tern and Western Snowy Plover efforts on Ventura County Beaches.