Western Snowy Plover

10 Steps to Share the Shore

How to be a bird-friendly beachgoer

Share the Shore

Do you love spending time on the beach?  Birds like Snowy Plovers and Least Terns can be found on our coast this summer, nesting and resting on our beaches.  
While the Western Snowy Plover is making a comeback, it is still listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act because of the many challenges its small population faces. 

Whether you love the beach for sunbathing, walking your dog, fishing, kayaking or boating, here are 10 ways to be a bird-friendly beachgoer: ​

  1. Respect the fences and signs, and stay outside of areas roped off for breeding Snowy Plovers
  2. Keep dogs on leash, or away from the beach. Or consider a dog-friendly beach.
  3. If you see small eggs on the beach outside a fence, back away to let parent bird return and call harbor patrol to let them know.
  4. Avoid use of loud or large flying things that snowy plovers perceive as predators: drones, fireworks, kites, etc.
  5. Volunteer with your local coastal Audubon chapter.
  6. Grab your scope or binoculars and enjoy watching Western Snowy Plovers scurrying along the beach searching for insects or tending their young instead of approaching nest fences.
  7. Educate others about these amazing birds and encourage people to Share the Shore with birds
  8. Do not release balloons.
  9. Organize a trash cleanup or just pick up trash! Participate in annual Coastal Clean up Day.
  10. Contact Audubon or wildlife officials for a talk or tour of a nesting area.

Maps and Beach Guide

The shores of California, Oregon, and Washington are managed by many different agencies and each beach has different rules and regulations. These recreation maps show what activities are allowed on certain beaches. You can use them to find out which beaches are friendly to dogs, which allow off-road recreation, etc.

Please follow the rules posted when visiting these beaches. Thank you for respecting your local beaches and the habitats and species who call the coast their home.

Maps like this don't exist for every shoreline that hosts Western Snowy Plovers, and thus these maps are good examples of outreach materials that you can produce for your beaches to encourage visitors to be responsible.

Other Resources

How you can help, right now