Update: Apparently the dad changed his mind, and is no longer brooding the two young ones. The good news: we have taken them back in for care, as we have done many times before, and the prognosis for successful re-release is excellent!
We recently re-united to snowy plover chicks with their father on a nearby beach. The tagged chicks were mistakenly picked up by beachgoers who thought they were abandoned, and brought to the Aquarium for care. The adult plover still had one chick with him, and representatives of California State Parks and Point Blue put a small cage over the chick to keep the parent close by until we could arrive with the other two. We then placed all three chicks in the enclosure to give the dad a chance to see them. After ensuring that the male was interested in the chicks, we removed the cage and he began caring for all three once again. Success!
Once numbering in the thousands, U.S. Pacific coast western snowy plovers were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1993. Today it’s estimated that only about 2,100 plovers breed along the coast, with the largest number found from south San Francisco Bay to southern Baja California. You can help keep adult plovers from abandoning their nests. Keep your dog on a leash on beaches during snowy plover breeding season and stay out of areas that have been blocked off as bird nesting sights.