If you’re a regular visitor to Bay Area beaches or bay land parks, you may have come close to this bird, but chances are you didn’t even notice this tiny resident! San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) Biologist Jessica González will teach participants to identify this adorable bird and learn how to play a part in efforts to protect their threatened habitats.
Western Snowy Plovers are a ground nesting shorebird species found along the Pacific Coast and interior Western United States. Since 1993, the Pacific Coast population has been listed as Federally Threatened due to loss of habitat, increasing predator populations, and high rates of disturbances at beach and bay breeding habitats. This includes places like Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area, now managed by Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, and Tunitas Creek Beach, which was recently protected by Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and is now managed by San Mateo County Parks. For park agencies, planning how to protect the sensitive nesting sites of snowy plovers while enabling community members to enjoy their local parks is a tricky issue, and a topic being addressed in current efforts to plan the opening of Tunitas Creek Beach as a new public park.
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