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First snowy plover hatchling of the season arrives on Earth Day

By Staff | Apr 26, 2010

A snowy plover mother on her nest, with her chick.

On Thursday, April 22 the 40th Earth Day celebration the first snowy plover chick hatched on Sanibel. The mother will remain on the nest until all three of her eggs have hatched.

Snowy plovers nest on the beach. The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) coordinates the monitoring of snowy plover nesting on Sanibel and stakes protective exclosures around the nests.

Please do not enter the staked exclosures and keep dogs out as well. When snowy plovers are not moving, they are extremely well camouflaged. If a snowy plover is flushed from its nest, it takes very little time for the hot sun to damage the eggs.

The snowy plover is a state-listed, threatened species on Sanibel. The most recent estimate indicates that around 200 pairs of snowy plovers remain along the west coast of Florida, from the Panhandle through Cape Sable. Snowy plover nesting season runs through August, and they can nest two or three times in one season

You can learn more about snowy plovers on Sanibel at our weekly program offered Fridays at 10 a.m. at SCCF’s Nature Center, located at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road. After a talk about snowies, the group will carpool out to the beach to learn how to spot these elusive shorebirds in their native habitat.

For more information, visit SCCF’s website at sccf.org/content/80/Snowy-Plover-Project.aspx.