The Mountain Plover is one of those birds that perfectly represents a California– in fact, a United States– that hasn’t existed for a very long time. Once plentiful across plains states in the summer and inCaliforniain the winter, the bird has declined as its habitat has been fragmented and lost. One of our staffers refers to it as the “Ghost of the Plains” for this very reason. When you see one, it’s a fleeting glimpse at the past.
Beginning Friday, Audubon California and our partners are going out into the field to count Mountain Plovers at key wintering spots throughout the state. We’re doing this because our statewide survey last year showed a dramatic decline (more then 50%) of Mountain Plovers from earlier surveys. If you want to help with the survey, there’s more information here. (photo by Glen Tepke)