Recently Hatched Plover Chicks Lost to TS Alex

14 Jun 2022

The first weekend of June, the tropical cyclone that eventually became Tropical Storm Alex brought heavy rains and high tides to island beaches. At the time the storm hit, SCCF was monitoring two active snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus) nests, and two snowy plover broods with chicks on Sanibel. While both nests were inundated with water, one remains active with the birds still incubating. The other was less fortunate and those birds are now attempting to re-nest for a third time this season.

The oldest chick, who is nearly fledged, remains alive and well, but the recently hatched chicks were too vulnerable. Small downy chicks are highly susceptible to weather events as they cannot thermoregulate. With the heavy rains, high tides, and colder temperatures, they were not able to survive the storm. SCCF staff and volunteers will be watching closely to see when the parents re-nest.

If you have questions about our beach-nesting birds, send an email to shorebirds@sccf.org.