Movements of adult Snowy Plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) tending broods were examined in coastal northern California. Chicks moved an average of 518 ± 52 m from their nests one to three days after hatch; thereafter, movements decreased. In their first ten days, there was no difference in distances moved or home range size between chicks that eventually fledged and those that died. Plovers consistently used the same areas of the beach each year, and these areas were positively associated with nest locations and negatively correlated with human activity. A fenced refuge for breeding plovers was created in the area most used by humans. Fledging success doubled in the refuge during the five years it was protected (37% chicks survived), compared to three years when the area lacked protection (15% chicks survived).
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Vol. 33 • No. 3