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Presentation on snowy plovers next week at CROW

By Staff | Jul 27, 2010

A snowy plover family portrait, photographed on Sanibel.

Sanibel Island is one of the few places in our area where snowy plovers choose to breed. Listed as “threatened” in the State of Florida, these tiny shorebirds need natural (unraked), gently sloping beaches for their reproductive efforts, which occur from mid-February through mid-August here on Sanibel.

   

Like most shorebirds, snowy plovers nest right on the beach and are potential prey for a host of predators. Their main defense is camouflage, and they blend so well with the color of Sanibel’s sand it’s almost impossible to see them unless they’re moving.

The population of these vulnerable birds has declined steadily over the years, so in 2002 the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) initiated their Snowy Plover Project to study and protect them.

   

So rarely do the young of these birds survive that photographers flock to Sanibel in hopes of capturing a memorable shot that may find its way into a national magazine or win a prestigious award.

Claudia Burns, a volunteer for the Snowy Plover Project since its inception, has collected a number of these remarkable photos and will share them, along with an informal talk about the perils of plovers, at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) on Thursday, Aug. 5 starting at 11 a.m.

   

The presentation is open to the public, free of charge, at the CROW Healing Winds Visitor Education Center, located at 3883 Sanibel-Captiva Road (across from The Sanibel School). This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about a threatened species that depends on Sanibel’s beaches for its continued survival, as well as to tour CROW’s awesome new facility and learn more about their efforts to save wildlife through compassion, care and education.