Pictures of threatened species Snowy Plover birds, Page 1 of 5...
<Photo of Snowy Plover parent bird covering a chick, giving the impression of a 4-legged bird>
<Picture of some Snowy Plover birds at a Sanibel Island beach, where they have precious little space>
Threatened resident Florida species Snowy Plovers... Appeal for HELP !
What must it take, one gets to wonder, for these precious few survivors of this bird species
to regain a small fraction of what was once their living space on the endless beaches
of Sanibel Island..?
The 2 wide photographs were taken in Oct. 2001, at a time -off season- when they can
gather here in somewhat larger numbers, and do so fairly undisturbed. Would it be so
difficult to create a wildlife protection area at this stretch of beach along East Gulf Drive,
some 3 to 500 yards of it, for the island's Snowies which do represent quite
a significant percentage of Florida's total..? One could imagine a boardwalk as an
overpass... Or, at least, reserve this stretch of shoreline every spring, from March to June perhaps, so the bird population could have a comeback of sorts. It is being done in other
parts of the country, for various types of wildlife. Why not here..?
The Island prides
itself on being "a haven for wildlife, especially birds". True, to a degree, with -notably-
the Nature Center and the reputed J.N. "Ding"Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
The small population of Snowy Plovers however, needs to have its refuge right here.
This is a habitat, their habitat, which is suitable for their survival and perhaps even revival,
of sorts... Above: the far stretch of sand just under the grassy area is where some of them continue to mate and breed against many odds... Below we have quite a congregation,
13 visible, plus a few resting behind shells etc. (One Sanderling is marked by an x...)
Footnote: I've returned to this portion of the beach several times since I took these photographs. The last time in Oct. of 2009... The highest count, confirmed by other
concerned Birders, was 14... In other words, they're barely holding. The hurricanes
of the past few years didn't improve their lot either.
<Photo of a stretch of beach on Sanibel Island with some 13 Snowy Plover birds visible>
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