Stay in the know about wildlife, water quality, and ecosystems on Sanibel and Captiva Islands and in Southwest Florida

State-Threatened Shorebird Chicks Fledge

July 11, 2023
snowy plover fledglings

Complementing a record loggerhead nesting season, snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus) and least tern (Sternula antillarum) numbers are up from last year on Sanibel and Captiva. Both are state-threatened species. 

Four snowy plover chicks have fledged on Sanibel since spring, with three more chicks expected to fledge in the next few days. Last year, two chicks fledged.

Snowy plover male White Blue successfully produced two broods this season. He was spotted guarding his chicks as they hid in the shade on July 4.

SCCF also continues to monitor nesting least terns at South Seas Island Resort on Captiva.

“Despite great losses from predation by crows and coyotes, we have confirmed at least four least tern fledglings, and now fledglings from other colonies are gathering on the beach,” said SCCF Shorebird Biologist Audrey Albrecht. 

Least tern with chick

Unlike snowy plovers, least terns nest in colonies as a strategy to protect eggs and chicks from predators collaborate in finding food. This is the first time they’ve nested on Captiva since 2014. 

Help safeguard vulnerable shorebird nests and chicks by keeping your distance from birds and posted nest areas, keeping pets leashed, picking up trash and food, and being a respectful photographer. Learn more


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