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Winter Snowy Plover Survey

January 17, 2010

Banded Snowy Plover on SM beach 2009.

The range-wide survey of wintering birds started today along the entire Pacific Coast from Washington to the Tijuana Slough. It continues through the 23rd of January. There may also be some counts conducted in Mexico. This effort is led by the US Fish and Wildlife Service whose Arcata, CA office has become the de facto nerve center for the recovery effort of the threatened species. Locally in Los Angeles County there are 6 sites considered key because of repeated sightings of the birds from late July through April each year. Zuma Beach is the northernmost and hosts the largest population. Malibu Lagoon is often the second most populous, but, by this morning’s count, Santa Monica Beach with 49 birds, may become the second largest roost. Thanks to counters Erin Rowan and Allison Brandin for their assistance with the Santa Monica Beach count. Lu Plauzoles

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