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Western Snowy PloverWestern Snowy Plover

The Western Snowy Plover is a threatened shorebird that can be found at different beaches including San Francisco's Ocean Beach. This small bird builds its nest right on the sand and eats insects and other invertebrates. Hours after hatching, Snowy plover chicks leave the nest to search for food. Adult Snowy Plovers do not feed their chicks, but lead them to areas where they can find food themselves. The chicks are not able to fly until they are about one month old. One way that the adult Snowy Plover protects their eggs and baby chicks is to pretend they have a broken wing. This lures predators away from their nest. A predator is an animal that hunts other animals for food.

Because the Snowy Plover lives right on the sandy beach, people, dogs, vehicles, and other activities are destroying the delicate nests and habitat that the Snowy Plover needs to survive. This is threatening the Western Snowy Plover with extinction. The City of San Francisco is trying to protect the Snowy Plover by setting aside wildlife protection areas at Ocean Beach.

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