When I was at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge on the 12th of April I spotted a Snowy Plover way out on the flats and that thrilled me because it was only my second sighting since my move to Utah back in 2009.
I didn’t see Snowy Plovers in Florida all that often but when I did they always excited me. There are two subspecies of Snowy Plovers, those who breed in the eastern U.S. and those that breed in the western U.S., the western subspecies that breeds near the Pacific coast are on the decline and listed as threatened. Snowy Plovers are on the 2016 State of the Birds Watch List. Climate change, eroding coastlines and disturbance caused by humans are among the causes for the decline in the Snowy Plover populations.
Snowy Plovers will often have two broods per year, sometimes even three. The females will leave the males with the chicks and go off to find new mates for the second and/or third broods.
Here in Utah the Snowy Plovers nest out on alkali flats and salt flats near the Great Salt Lake and its surrounding marshlands.
I photographed the Snowy Plover above while it was bathing near a tidal lagoon at the north beach of Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County, Florida in December of 2008. While it was bathing the plover had its back to me so I was pleased when it turned around to lift its wings and shake off the water.
I keep hoping that I will find and be able to photograph a Snowy Plover close enough to get nice images here in Utah, so far I haven’t had that chance. Maybe this year.
Life is good.