Western Snowy Plovers at the Beach

The Western Snowy Plover at Carmel River State Beach, September, 2019.
The Western Snowy Plover at Carmel River State Beach, January, 2019.

The western snowy plover is a trusting small bird that likes a sandy beach for nesting, not always a good choice. At least in the Carmel area the plover picks the Carmel River State Beach which is much less used than its famous counterpart, Carmel-by-the-Sea beach. I saw quite a few snowy plovers this week at the same part of the beach that I spotted them at nine months ago.

This shorebird is found in California, Oregon and Washington with each state having protected habitat areas for the plover. In 1970 there were over 50 identified habitat areas, but that number has been reduced to 28 due, in part, to loss of shorefronts to rising sea levels caused by climate change, according to the federal government in 2012.

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