Sometimes when I’m birdwatching

Friday, September 11th, 2020

Sometimes when I’m birdwatching

Reposted from https://lies.tumblr.com/post/628992977979785216.

Sometimes when I’m birdwatching

Friday, July 10th, 2020

Sometimes when I’m birdwatching

Reposted from https://lies.tumblr.com/post/623289169961156609.

jamberlies: Snowy Plover Fun fact: That’s a snowy plover…

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

jamberlies:

Snowy Plover

Fun fact: That’s a snowy plover dad. The mom leaves soon after the eggs hatch, while dad sticks around to rear the chick(s).

Western snowy plovers have been making a comeback lately, expanding their breeding range southward into parts of the Southern California coast where they bred historically, but where they’d been missing for the past several decades as a result of human impacts on their habitat.

At the Coal Oil Point reserve near UC Santa Barbara, a small number of breeding pairs were discovered a few years ago. With some suggestive fencing (really just twine strung between stakes), some signs, and a docent program to ask people not to throw frisbees in the dunes or let their dogs run off-leash, the population has grown, with nearby locations to the south (like the sandspit near the Santa Barbara breakwater) subsequently seeing their first successful plover breeding attempts in decades.

I live about 10 miles further south along the coast, in Carpinteria. Last summer my friend and fellow birder Eric Culbertson, walking on a seldom-accessed section of Carpinteria beach that is usually isolated by high tides, came across an adult snowy plover male with a chick. It was the first time snowy plovers had been known to breed on this beach in many years, and it made me really happy.

I know it’s just one species, one that gets attention because it’s cute and charismatic, and the problem of human-caused extinction reaches much, much further. But I like the story because it teaches that by paying attention to the natural world, learning how it works and applying that knowledge, we can make a difference. Living things are tough and resourceful (even when they’re also cute and fluffy). Sometimes they just need a little help.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/65281079361.