Snowy Plover

Scientific Name:   Charadrius nivosus

Where is the best place to view snowy plovers in Monterey County?

The best time to view snowy plovers is March through September during the breeding season. Plovers can be seen nesting along the shores, peninsulas, offshore islands, bays, estuaries, and rivers of the United States' Pacific Coast from Oregon to California.

About snowy plovers

The small, threatened western snowy plover shorebird, about the size of a sparrow, has lived on the Pacific Coast for thousands of years. Because of decreased habitat and low population numbers, the western snowy plover was listed by the federal government as threatened in 1993. Snowy Plovers predators include falcons, raccoons, coyotes, and owls. Plover nests usually ontain three small eggs that can look like sand and are often barely visible. Plovers use shells, rocks, driftwood and other objects to make their nests.

Snowy Plover Fun Facts

  • Western snowy plovers eat invertebrates like crustaceans and mollusks, marine worms and insects
  • There are an estimated 2,600 western snowy plovers along the Pacific coast
  • Plovers occasionally look for prey in the sand and pick insects from low-growing plants
  • A healthy adult snowy plover weighs around 1.2 to 2 ounces
  • Plovers stand about 5.9 to 6.6 inches tall
  • Its average lifespan in the wild is 2 to 4 years