600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
May 21, 1997
Contact: Margaret Ainscough, (360) 902-2408
Precautions asked for snowy plover
There's a special couple residing at Damon Point in Ocean Shores and they
need the help of visitors.
The two are the only pair of snowy plovers in the species' northern-most North
American nesting area. The bird is listed as a state endangered species and a federal
Unfortunately the birds, which nest in the open, share the beach with human
visitors and dogs which could disturb or destroy their nest.
"It's a serious problem because people let their dogs bound out of cars off the
leash or they let their dogs off the leash to run on the beach and a lot of dog breeds are
bird hunters," said Jack Smith, Region 6 wildlife program manager for the Washington
Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Smith asks Damon Point visitors to obey posted "no entry" signs around the
nesting area and keep their dogs on a leash. The birds do not appear to be upset by
long-range viewing, Smith said, although they can be difficult to see because they
blend with their surroundings.
The snowy plover, a 4-to-5 inch, whitish shorebird, typically nests on several
eggs which hatch in June into young about twice the size of a bumblebee.
Most years, several nesting pairs are present at the Damon Point site, but so far
this year only one pair has shown up.