SARASOTA, Fla. – Every year around this time a band of plucky little birds begin to gather at Siesta Beach to mate and nest on the sand. The birds, known as Snowy Plovers (rhymes with 'lovers') are listed as "threatened" in Florida and face incredible odds each year.
Saturday many people gathered for a beach walk to learn how to protect the Plovers that face extinction. Sarasota Audubon is seeking volunteers willing to spend 2-3 hours a week to monitor the nesting seabirds. President of the Audubon Society, Jeanne Dubi, said “We ask them (the volunteers) to educate people on the beach, most people actually walking along the beach have no idea that birds nest right in the sand.” Human activity poses the biggest threat to these animals.
The peak of nesting season coincides with the July 4th weekend, the time when tens of thousands of beachgoers descend onto Siesta Key Beach to celebrate the holiday.