We monitored the distribution, abundance and productivity of the federally threatened Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus nivosus) along the central and south coast of Oregon from 3 April – 24 September 2019. We surveyed and monitored plover activity in a project area that included, from north to south, Sutton Beach, Siltcoos River estuary, the Dunes Overlook, North and South Tahkenitch Creek, Tenmile Creek, Coos Bay North Spit, Bandon Snowy Plover Management Area, New River HRA and adjacent lands, and Floras Lake. We also completed limited survey work at North Umpqua and Cut Creek, Bullard’s Beach State Park. Our objectives for the project area in 2019 were to: 1) estimate the size of the adult Snowy Plover population, 2) locate plover nests, 3) determine nest success, 4) implement nest protection as appropriate (e.g. ropes and signs), 5) monitor a sample of broods to determine brood fate and plover productivity, and 6) use cameras and observational data to document predator activity at nests.
We estimated the resident number of Snowy Plovers in Oregon at 502 individuals, a slight increase from the 2018 season. We monitored 552 nests in 2019. Overall apparent nest success was 41%. Nest failures were attributed to unknown depredation, corvid depredation, mammalian depredation, unknown cause, abandonment, wind/weather, one egg nests, unknown avian depredation, harrier depredation, overwashing, and infertility. We monitored 194 of 229 known broods, and documented a minimum of 344 fledglings. Overall brood success was 81%, fledging success was 54%, and based on the overall number of resident males, 1.32 chicks fledged per resident male.