Snowy Plovers and the Temporary Protection Fence

By Jonathan Vargas / Coastal Solutions Fellow and Bird Conservation Projects Associate

This article was translated by Amairani Márquez and Manuel Eduardo Mendoza

Yesterday, on Wednesday, April 24, we made the first visit to the symbolic temporary protection fence that we installed last April 13 to protect the snowy plover nests in front of Pacífica at Ensenada Bay.

At the beginning, I had low expectations of finding the fence in good conditions due to the large number of people who visit these beaches during Spring Break; however, that changed very quickly when we confirmed that the fence was intact and people had respected it without damaging it.

But, our biggest surprise was to find Marina again, the female snowy plover, with her second nest of the season inside the fence, which is very hopeful considering that a week ago her first nest was preyed on by dogs. Marina was ringed at Marine Corps Camp Pendleton, California in 2016, and this is her second consecutive year nesting in Ensenada thanks to the protection she has received with the fence.

Marina, the female snowy plover. Photo: Jonathan Vargas.

We also took the opportunity to speak with people at the beach to recommend good practices and encourage them to walk their pets on a leash, as they are one of the most frequent causes of disturbance for the birds in Ensenada, especially at this critical stage of nest care.

That day we also found another ringed plover, which turned out to be a Sea World captive-reared bird from an egg off of Naval Base Coronado from 2018, and this year it seems that it will also nest in Ensenada.

These snowy plovers are an example of how birds know no borders!

Photo: Jonathan Vargas.