When we stay in Florida during the winter, I like to hike along the Gulf-side beach in St. George Island State Park. I can almost always find Snowy Plovers among the shorebirds that gather along the shore. At 6¼ inches long, they are the smallest plovers we see in the United States. Because Snowies are a threatened species, many of them are banded like this one so researchers can keep track of their movements. This bird has started to molt into breeding plumage; see the darker feathers on the forehead, behind the eye, and around the neck.