Snowy Plover on a sugar sand beachSnowy Plover on a sugar sand beach – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Shorebirds like this tiny Snowy Plover on a sugar sand beach were my “spark” birds when it comes to my bird photography and they are what made my passion for bird photography catch fire. This young Snowy Plover was photographed in Florida in 2008 at Fort De Soto County Park’s north beach. Snowy Plovers do breed in Florida locations but struggle for survival because of habitat destruction, people and their pets. They are listed with the IUCN as a species of Least Concern and the Western Snowy Plover is listed as Threatened in several states.

Interesting fact: When the chicks are about to hatch the female Snowy Plover leaves the male to do the brooding and attempts to find another male to breed with. It is the male who watches over the chicks after hatching.

Small, delicate and beautiful, Snowy Plovers are always a treat to see and photograph.