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 2 April – 17 September 2020. We
surveyed and monitored plover activity in a project area that included, from north to south, Sutton Beach, Siltcoos
River estuary, the Dunes Overlook, Tahkenitch Creek, Tenmile Creek, Coos Bay North Spit, Bandon Snowy Plover
Management Area, New River Habitat Restoration Area (HRA) and adjacent lands, and Floras Lake. Our
objectives for the project area in 2020 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 549 individuals, the highest number since
monitoring began in 1990. We monitored 650 nests in 2020. Overall apparent nest success was 40%. Nest failures
were attributed to unknown depredation, corvid depredation, unknown cause, abandonment, mammalian
depredation, wind/weather, unknown avian depredation, one egg nests, harrier depredation, overwashing, infertility,
gull depredation, and human caused failure. We monitored 209 of 271 known broods that produced 231 fledglings
and estimated 299 total fledglings. Overall brood success was 72%, fledging success was 42%, and based on the
overall number of resident males, 1.06 chicks fledged per resident male.