Carpinteria’s snowy plovers continue to make news. The nest established a little over a month ago by plover pa:yb and her mate has now produced two chicks! (I’m not sure what became of the third egg, but there appear to be only two baby plovers on the beach at this point.) The mother, as is typical with snowy plovers, has moved on (hopefully to make another nesting attempt), but the father remains with the chicks, doing his best to keep them safe as they scurry around the beach hunting hunting kelp flies and sand hoppers.
But wait; there’s more. 🙂 A second nest has been established just to west of the first nest, and a plover was incubating on it when I visited the site on April 19. A new roped-off area has been established by State Park biologists, and an anti-predator exclosure has been erected over the second nest.
There were a total of 10 plovers at the site as of my last visit April 19:
- dad and his two chicks
- the bird incubating on the second nest
- six other plovers in the part of the beach more or less between the two roped-off areas
One of the group of six unattached plovers was banded with the combination py:rr (pink over yellow on the left leg; red over red on the right leg). I reported the band, and received the following reply from Nadya Seal Faith at the Santa Barbara Zoo:
Thanks so much for reporting your sighting. The plover you spotted was an egg that had been abandoned with two others at Oceano Dunes SVA last year and was brought to the Santa Barbara Zoo for rehabilitation. This bird hatched on May 18, 2021, fledged around June 21, 2021 and was released at Coal Oil Point on July 19, 2021.
Alexis Frangis with the California State Parks snowy plover recovery program recently let me know that they plan to conduct snowy plover docent training in the near future. If any Carpinteria Birdwatchers members (or anyone else, for that matter) would like to participate in that training, please let me know by emailing me at [email protected]. Thanks!
Update: Holly Lohuis helpfully wrote to let me know that the third egg from the first nest did hatch, but the chick was taken by an American crow during the first few days after hatching. I’ve read that is the most dangerous time for a young plover; here’s hoping the other two, having made it this far, will be able to survive until fledging.
For more about this year’s nesting attempts, see this post: The Snowy Plovers Are Back! (Carpinteria nesting updates for 2022)