I saw my first snowy plover at Carmel River State Beach this week. These are “threatened” birds, so it stands to reason that my first sighting was a tagged plover–note the orange band on its left leg.
The snowy plover loves the sandy coastline as breeding grounds–they often use broken shells to build a nest. But, given how people flock to the beach, this small bird often has trouble finding a safe place to settle. Federal and state rules intended to protect the bird center around prohibitions against going off trail and bringing dogs. Flying a kite is also frowned upon–the movement of a kite resembles a predator.