This photo was taken in April of 2021 in Waldport, Oregon. I'd never actually seen a snowy plover before the day I took this photograph! I used to be a biologist, so I'd heard all about them, but just never had the opportunity to see one in person.⠀
On this particular day I went for a walk with a friend on the beach to photograph the seals, and when I saw these sweet little birds I stopped to take their photo. I was shooting with a 600 mm lens, so I was far away and they barely noticed my presence. As we continued our walk, the thought popped into my head, "holy cow, I think those were snowy plovers!!!"⠀
It wasn't until I got home and looked at these photos and saw their bands on their little tiny legs that I really realized what I'd seen. These might be the cutest shore birds I've ever seen! The Western Snowy Plover was listed as a "Threatened" species in 1993, but their status has been upgraded to "Near Threatened" as they begin to recover.⠀
I want to help protect the snowy plovers as they continue their recovery, so I'll be donating 10% of profits from all sales of this print to Portland Audubon!