A banded snowy plover that first was spotted Feb. 1 on Siesta Key apparently liked the beach so much that it has decided to call the island its home for nesting season, Sarasota Audubon members have reported.
Claire Herzog was able to get some photos of the bird in late March, which she provided to The Sarasota News Leader.
Jeanne Dubi, president of Sarasota Audubon, logged that first sighting of the bird. Dubi contacted Marianne Korosy of Audubon of Florida for help in identifying it. Korosy learned that the bird had disappeared from St. Joseph State Park, southwest of
Panama City, after the 2009 nesting season.
The snowy plover was born on that beach in the Panhandle in 2008, according to Korosy. Later, local officials decided to allow dogs on the beach, which also has areas of development.
Nesting observers had reported this particular plover had been flushed from its St. Joseph State Park nest by dogs; they thought it had died.
Catherine Luckner, president of the Siesta Key Association and a volunteer in the Sarasota Audubon snowy plover protection program on Siesta, was thrilled to report the little bird has remained on the Key.
It is one of 12 snowy plovers that have been identified in the midst of nesting season on Siesta.