Snowy Plover Updates – 2020

About This Blog

During the western snowy plover breeding season, park docents help monitor and protect nesting sites and help create awareness and educate visitors about this threatened species and its life cycle. Visitors have expressed interest in the plovers and are pleased to have staff and docents in the field answering all types of naturalist questions. Through the summer, park staff create updates to let staff, volunteers, and visitors know the latest on what is happening out at the nesting sites. Click on one of the links below to find out how the Snowy Plovers at Point Reyes were doing at the time. To learn more about becoming a Snowy Plover Docent, please visit our Volunteer page.

Snowy Plover Update - September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020 Posted by: Matt Lau

The last two nests of the season hatched just as the Woodward Fire began; one of these broods was banded while the second brood hatched without the usual banding process. We ended the season with 10 fledglings from 39 nests! Considering the abysmal low survival rate for chicks and nests during the first half of the season, we can consider this a success. The next few weeks will involve regular surveys of winter flocks that have coalesced on Point Reyes beaches.


Snowy Plover Update - August 11, 2020

August 11, 2020 Posted by: Matt Lau

The breeding season is nearing its end and winter flocks are beginning to increase in size. In mid-August, these flocks can number up to 30 to 40 plovers; for example. During these last few weeks of the breeding season, snowy plovers have been experiencing higher reproductive success compared to most of the past four months. More specifically, chick survival has been higher and the number of common ravens observed on surveys has dropped.


Snowy Plover Update - July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020 Posted by: Matt Lau

The park's plover breeding population has increased significantly to 39 adults. While nest success is around average, chick survival has been significantly low this year. But we still have a few nests to hatch in the coming weeks and we recently had several nests hatch. Park staff have also observed snowy plovers congregating into their "winter" or nonbreeding flocks in the past two weeks.


Snowy Plover Update - June 28, 2020

June 28, 2020 Posted by: Matt Lau

This is the second update for the month of June and breeding activity has significantly picked up on Point Reyes beaches. Since the June 6 update, we have found an additional 13 new nests and have added two fledglings to the scoreboard. Nest success has been around average, but chick and fledgling survival has been poor so far. Only two out of 15 total chicks that have hatched this season have made it to fledging (not including the three chicks currently on the beach).


Snowy Plover Update - June 6, 2020

June 02, 2020 Posted by: Matt Lau

This is the first update of the 2020 snowy plover breeding season. We have had an active breeding season so far: 21 total nests, of which three have hatched and 14 failed. Causes of nest failure include: depredation by common ravens (n = 8 or 57%), nest abandonment (n = 4) and tidal overwash (n = 1). One nest failed for unknown reasons, but it was likely taken by a predator.


Last updated: July 18, 2022

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