Click thumbnail images below to see larger images
Map of Cloisters showing
location of Plover nest
View from Cloisters access
road (Coral Ave.) to Plover
Plover parent faking wing injury
to distract observers from nest
Zoomed in view of nest area -
without optics, the
nest is almost invisible until
within a few feet.
Effective 6-11-03 a
is now erected to protect area
Wide view of nest area
Close-up parent on nest
(blurry - taken thru binoculars)
6-11-03 plover on public path
100 feet south
we now have 3 new
healthy Snowy Plover chicks.
Original Photo courtesy
Photo was annotated by
6-24-03 Hi Mike,
Contact Info. State Park's official Plover Monitor is Teresa Larson, cell (805) 235-3533...
She works with Morro Bay's Vince Cicero of State Parks.
editor:) Please read the following communication regarding proper
behavior in approaching a nest. We observed that the bird will leave the nest to distract an observer even
if one is walking on the public path about 100' to the south... Here is the remedy ...
Please address questions to:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
2493 Portola Road, Suite B
Ventura, CA 93003
(805) 644-1766 (office)
(805) 644-3958 (fax)
Thanks for your e-mail. I left a message on you voicemail just now (6-11-03 11 AM). Thank you for your offer to help address this situation. Local birding expert Freeman Hall was the closest thing I had to an expert when we went to investigate this activity in our "back yard." I relied on his good judgment for doing what was appropriate. I requested our City Parks people to take appropriate action, but you guys no doubt know best, and can advise the proper remedy. Would you please recommend the correct action to be taken to those who maintain the park (Morro Bay City). If nothing is done this poor bird may be taken due to the heavy recreational foot traffic in the area. I have added your e-mail message to the other information at the web site http://morro-bay.com/birding/plover/ with your warning, and added a personal plea to others to please stay far away. So that others will be aware of the proper protocol, can you please give me more specific information as to the proper public behavior, and I will be glad to publish that. Best Regards,
From: Steve_Henry@[remove]r1.fws.gov [mailto:Steve_Henry@[remove]r1.fws.gov]
I was forwarded the email below regarding the plover nest at the Cloisters. I am concerned that activities shown in the photos, such as approaching a nest to measure eggs or photograph it to scale, may have been done by persons not permitted to undertake such activities. Showing these pictures on a website may lead others to believe that this is an acceptable activity. Also, erecting an exclosure around a western snowy plover nest should only be done by permitted persons trained in erecting exclosures. Conducting these type of activities without training and being permitted could lead to take of this federally listed species. I have tried to call you at the number listed below, but have been unsuccessful. Please contact me if you have any questions.
P.S. It is not unusual for plovers to nest in habitat similar to what is shown in the pictures found on the website listed below. The coastal population of western snowy plovers can nest a mile or more inland from the ocean on substrate ranging from dirt to concrete.
----- Forwarded by Steve Henry/VFWO/R1/FWS/DOI on 06/11/03 09:08 AM -----
<< Andrea Lueker,
alueker@[remove]morro-bay.ca.us (805) 772-6278
A Western Snowy Plover nest (we saw one parent with three eggs) was discovered inland in the Morro Bay Cloister's drainage area today. Since this nest is on City park property, would you please consider erecting a temporary enclosure like a plastic construction fence to protect this nest? There is regular foot traffic in the area and the nest is quite vulnerable. The nest is marked with ten small one-foot wood sticks in a 12' diameter circle around the nest, but they are not very visible.
Details of location, photos etc. are documented at http://morro-bay.com/birding/plover/ . The nest is known to be at least one week old. The nest identification was confirmed by local birding expert and State Park docent Freeman Hall (805) 772-3578. This is an interesting observation because popular theory is that (the "coastal-location species" of) these threatened birds nest only on beach areas, and not in nearby inland areas.
One argument for the aggressive protection of the Morro Strand State Beach Snowy Plover nesting habitat is that these birds can not nest elsewhere nearby. Is this a counter-example, or does this represent the successful coping of one bird displaced from a preferable nesting area? Interesting questions I'm sure for our local birders and fellow naturalists.
Note added to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/slocobirding/message/2373 post:
If you go to observe this nest,
please do so from a respectful distance, as
From: Andrea Lueker [mailto:ALueker@[remove]morro-bay.ca.us]
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 12:05 PM
Cc: Bob Hendrix; Rob Schultz
The City is the group that has coordinated the efforts to construct the enclosure and also worked with Steve of Fish and Wildlife.