4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The word is totally bird

Western snowy plovers hop Coast Highway to set up on beach

People and dogs are going to have to share some of Cardiff State Beach for a few months.
People and dogs are going to have to share some of Cardiff State Beach for a few months.

The western snowy plover must not be able to read. For the first time in years, the federally endangered bird has jumped across its well-signed and protected nesting areas in the San Elijo Lagoon, on the east side of Coast Highway 101, and, as of last week, is setting up home right on the beach.

As of May 8, one pair was already sitting on three eggs; another pair has been looking around for new digs. Darren Smith, a senior environmental scientist for California State Parks, says they have seen several “nest scrapes” — areas where the birds scratch the ground to find a potential home. And as many as five adults have been seen running along the shoreline.

“The fledglings like to forage for food along the water’s edge,” Smith said, “but this is the first time we’ve seen them nest on the beach.”

The nesting area, a small section of Cardiff State Beach, has been roped off and warning signs posted so people stay away. The agencies involved will not be erecting a more permanent fence, as they have in other plover nesting areas.

“We want to keep predatory birds from being able to perch,” said Robin Greene, state parks superintendent of the San Diego Coast District's North Sector. Also of concern: it’s a popular beach for dogs.

The bird’s nesting area near Seaside Beach has been slated for restoration of “living dunes” — a project to return sections of the beach back to what it used to look like before the railroad, freeway, and upstream dams blocked the natural flow of water and sand.

The City of Encinitas is also looking at the return of the dunes as a way to protect Coast Highway, which for decades has faced erosion due to lack of sand replenishment.

“We’ve moved some sand around — maybe that’s what the birds liked,” said Greene. "They didn’t seem to care we weren’t finished yet.”

“We don’t know yet if this will be a viable nesting site,” said Smith. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will ultimately decide if the small strip of sand, butted up against cobblestone rocks and sandstone berm of Coast Highway, will become a preserve.

Smith predicted the ropes and signs would be removed at the end of nesting season, around mid-September.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Castrated San Diegans

Prison as dominant culture, steely Navy wives, men who hit those they love, ill-fated LaTwon Weaver, kid criminals
People and dogs are going to have to share some of Cardiff State Beach for a few months.
People and dogs are going to have to share some of Cardiff State Beach for a few months.

The western snowy plover must not be able to read. For the first time in years, the federally endangered bird has jumped across its well-signed and protected nesting areas in the San Elijo Lagoon, on the east side of Coast Highway 101, and, as of last week, is setting up home right on the beach.

As of May 8, one pair was already sitting on three eggs; another pair has been looking around for new digs. Darren Smith, a senior environmental scientist for California State Parks, says they have seen several “nest scrapes” — areas where the birds scratch the ground to find a potential home. And as many as five adults have been seen running along the shoreline.

“The fledglings like to forage for food along the water’s edge,” Smith said, “but this is the first time we’ve seen them nest on the beach.”

The nesting area, a small section of Cardiff State Beach, has been roped off and warning signs posted so people stay away. The agencies involved will not be erecting a more permanent fence, as they have in other plover nesting areas.

“We want to keep predatory birds from being able to perch,” said Robin Greene, state parks superintendent of the San Diego Coast District's North Sector. Also of concern: it’s a popular beach for dogs.

The bird’s nesting area near Seaside Beach has been slated for restoration of “living dunes” — a project to return sections of the beach back to what it used to look like before the railroad, freeway, and upstream dams blocked the natural flow of water and sand.

The City of Encinitas is also looking at the return of the dunes as a way to protect Coast Highway, which for decades has faced erosion due to lack of sand replenishment.

“We’ve moved some sand around — maybe that’s what the birds liked,” said Greene. "They didn’t seem to care we weren’t finished yet.”

“We don’t know yet if this will be a viable nesting site,” said Smith. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will ultimately decide if the small strip of sand, butted up against cobblestone rocks and sandstone berm of Coast Highway, will become a preserve.

Smith predicted the ropes and signs would be removed at the end of nesting season, around mid-September.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Another successful Bisbee’s Tournament

A weak La Niña has been good to the San Diego fleet in 2022
Next Article

The only inequality I experience is that I am an extreme amateur.

Favorite surf spot is Fletcher Cove
Comments
1

STORY UPDATE May 22 - two chicks hatched this morning!

May 22, 2015

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close