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Shorebird team monitors nests over holiday weekend

By SCCF - | Jun 9, 2021

SCCF Snowy plover fledgling “White/Black”

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation staff and volunteers spent the holiday weekend watching over beach-nesting birds, officials reported.

Some nesting enclosures were expanded to provide an additional safety buffer. There were large crowds of people, though no violations were observed, and the four snowy plover nests survived.

The 2020 Sanibel snowy plover fledgling “White/Black” spent the winter on Outback Key near Fort DeSoto, then returned to Sanibel for several weeks. It seemed as though he had found a mate and might nest when he suddenly reappeared on Outback Key on May 23.

“We were even more surprised when he arrived back on Sanibel the following day,” Shorebird Biologist Audrey Albrecht said. “Since then, he has been seen at Bowman’s Beach, the east end of Sanibel and Fort Myers Beach.”

The 2020 Sanibel snowy plover fledgling “Blue/Black” spent the winter on Caladesi Island and returned to Sanibel last month.

AARON WHITE Wilson's plover nest with chicks on the west end of Sanibel.

“Like White/Black, we thought he might try to nest here,” she said.

On May 19, he was observed by state park staff back on Caledesi.

“However, on May 27, Blue/Black surprised us all and was found hanging out alone at Bowman’s Beach,” Albrecht said.

The Wilson’s plover nest on the west end of Sanibel hatched two weeks ago.

If you see a shorebird nest that has not yet been roped off, contact shorebirds@sccf.org.