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Sunday, March 08, 2015

Sanibel FL, Beach Bird bonanza!

Line up of, from left to right, Semipalmated Plover, Snowy Plover, Piping Plover

Piping Plover

Snowy Plover

Lesser Black-backed Gulls, from left, near adult, 3rd year and adult.

Large numbers of Royal Terns, and many Sanderlings.

Sanibel Beach, yesterday had so many birds on low tide. The best part was seeing the three plover species lined up.
The Piping Plover, was the more rare plover to find on the Sanibel, FL beach. Populations of Piping Plovers are considered Endangered or Threatened mostly due to disturbance from people and habitat loss. Even though Piping Plovers can be found in nearby Ft. Myers on Bunche Beach, they rarely come over to Sanibel. They winter on the southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts and breed on the Atlantic coast, northern Great Plains and along the Great Lakes. Snowy Plovers nest on Sanibel and their numbers are small but holding up. We have seen as many as 12 on one area of the each at the eastern end of the island. Lesser Back-backed Gulls are are considered an uncommon gull but a number winter here and elsewhere in FL. We saw 8 near the plovers. Such a treat to see so many wonderful beach birds together!

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