How to protect nesting birds on Washington’s Coast while razor clam digging

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Snowy Plover by Joe Buchanan, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

RAZOR CLAM DIGGING IS A HIGHLY POPULAR pursuit that draws hundreds of thousands of people to Washington’s coastal beaches every year. Most diggers can harvest their limit of clams in an hour or two and still have plenty of time to enjoy beachcombing, kite-flying and a wide range of other surfside activities.

While on the beach, clam diggers should be aware that two bird species — the Snowy Plover and the Streaked Horned Lark — nest in the soft sand above the high tide line. Both birds are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Normal nesting season generally runs from April 1 through September 15.

During this time, it is very easy to disturb the birds and their vulnerable young.

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We need your help watching out for the future of shorebird species. Nesting season for two federally protected shorebirds — the Snowy Plover and the Streaked Horned Lark — begins in spring when thousands of razor clam diggers are also on the beach. Wildlife managers ask that diggers take care to avoid disturbing these small birds by steering clear of their nesting areas. Both species are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act

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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.

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