Posted by: atowhee | October 7, 2021


Official Status: Threatened, the Pacific Coast population of the western snowy plover is federally listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as threatened. The western snowy plover is a Bird Species of Special Concern in California. Snowy plovers were listed as endangered under Washington Department of Game Policy No. 402 in 1981, and as threatened by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission in 1975. The threatened status in Oregon was reaffirmed in 1989 under the Oregon Endangered Species Act.” Click here for full wildlife service page.

We all know that dogs, even cats and dogs can become companions–sharing beds, games, staff (which people pretend are “owners”). Anybody who’s spent time around farm animals, knows that sheep, cows, horses, goats form friendships and animosities. This can be among their own kind or across species lines. Today Albert and I witnessed two species of peeps cuddling in their sandy covert at Doran Park on Bodega Bay in Sonoma County:

Snowy (left), Sanderling(right) in same shallow divot on the beach. Yet around them, nearby, were numerous other members of each species. To each his own.

The snowy plover is a small wader in the plover bird family, typically about 5-7″ in length. It breeds in Ecuador, Peru, Chile, the southern and western United States and the Caribbean. Long considered to be a subspecies of the Kentish plover, it is now known to be a distinct species. We counted 23 plovers and ten Sanderlings in this gathering this afternoon.

While the Snowy Plover may live year round on the California or Oregon coast, the Sanderling breeds on the high Arctic tundra. Any cross-species relationships would be seasonal, ephemeral. The Snowy Plover breeds here at Doran.


Doran Regional Park – entrance pond to jetty, Sonoma, California, US
Oct 7, 2021
17 species

White-winged Scoter  1
Snowy Plover  23
Sanderling  10
Ring-billed Gull  X
Western Gull  X
Common Loon  1
Sooty Shearwater  6
Pelagic Cormorant  X
Double-crested Cormorant  X
American White Pelican  X
Brown Pelican  X
Great Egret  X
Snowy Egret  X
Turkey Vulture  X
American Crow  X
European Starling  X
Brewer’s Blackbird  X


  1. […] trip to Bodega Bay. Click here for one gallery–Snowy plover cuddled up with Sanderling on the beach. On our way south we couldn’t […]

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