Learn about the lifestyle of one of the cutest native birds we have on the Central Coast and San Francisco Bay Area, the Snowy Plover!

If you’re a regular visitor to Bay Area beaches or bay land parks, you may have come close to this bird, but chances are you didn’t even notice this tiny resident! San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) Biologist Jessica González will teach participants to identify this adorable bird and learn how to play a part in efforts to protect their threatened habitats.

Western Snowy Plovers are a ground nesting shorebird species found along the Pacific Coast and interior Western United States. Since 1993, the Pacific Coast population has been listed as Federally Threatened due to loss of habitat, increasing predator populations, and high rates of disturbances at beach and bay breeding habitats. This includes places like Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area, now managed by Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, and Tunitas Creek Beach, which was recently protected by Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and is now managed by San Mateo County Parks. For park agencies, planning how to protect the sensitive nesting sites of snowy plovers while enabling community members to enjoy their local parks is a tricky issue, and a topic being addressed in current efforts to plan the opening of Tunitas Creek Beach as a new public park.

The access link will be emailed to registrants one day prior to the event.


Jessica González is a wildlife biologist at San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory. She holds a B.S. degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Restoration and Resource Management from San Jose State University. She is currently pursuing an M.S. degree in Environmental Studies at San Jose State University and is surveying for threatened Western Snowy Plovers who breed in salt pond habitats in the Bay Area.



Together with the Coastal Conservancy and POST, San Mateo County Parks is creating a new beach park. Just south of Half Moon Bay, Tunitas Creek empties into the Pacific Ocean where snowy plovers forage, rest and pass through this stunning one-mile beach. Learn about the planning project here and the protection of the snowy plover habitat on this beach.

view of tunitas creek beach from dunes.


Western Snowy Plovers are threatened shorebirds. The size of a sparrow and well-camouflaged, they can be found on sandy beaches and salt panne habitat from Southern Washington through Baja California. They often make their nests near small objects, like driftwood or oyster shells, to increase camouflage. It is important as visitors we do not remove these items from their habitats. Snowy Plovers nest from March to September during the time humans also frequent the shore. Read more below:


This event is part of POST’s community event series, which is open to the general public as well as POST donors. We hope you’ll join us! We also curate a separate series of private events for our donors. Learn how you can support POST here: openspacetrust.org/support-post

snowy plover eggs in the sand

Snowy Plovers huddled on the beach.

About the organizers

San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of birds and their habitats through science and outreach. Birds are excellent indicators of ecosystem health. They are highly visible, cost-effective to track and are sensitive to environmental change.

Peninsula Open Space Trust protects and cares for open space, farms and parkland in and around Silicon Valley. Since 1977, POST has protected over 79,000 acres in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties.



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