SNOWY PLOVER


Charadrius alexandrinus


Description:

These cute little shorebirds are often difficult to see against their sandy backgrounds. Snowy Plovers forage for small crustaceans and soft invertebrates in the sand at the surf line. While breeding these little birds can become quite aggessive, chasing and fighting with other plovers. They may even grab an intruders tail while at the same time turning in circles.


Appearance:

Pale gray upperparts. White underparts. Black bar on both sides of the breast. Black patch behind the eye. Black patch above a white forehead. White supercilium. Short, thin black bill. Black legs. Juvinile lacks black patches. Sexes similar. 5 to 7 inches in length.


Habitat:

Sandy coastal beaches and shallow alkaline lakes.


Nesting:

2-3 buff colored eggs with black spots. The eggs have a 27-28 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 31 days after hatching. The nest is a shallow depression on the ground lined with shell fragments or grass.


Observed Locations:

  • US Naval Radio Station Beach, North of Carnation Ave, Imperial Beach
  • Tijuana River Mouth, Imperial Beach
  • San Diego River Flood Control Channel, San Diego





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