- 11–11.4 in
- 23.2–23.6 in
- 5.6–9.8 oz
- Grey Plover (British)
- Pluvier argenté (French)
- Chorlito gris (Spanish)
- Wary and quick to give alarm calls, the Black-bellied Plover functions worldwide as a sentinel for mixed groups of shorebirds. These qualities allowed it to resist market hunters, and it remained common when populations of other species of similar size were devastated.
- The Black-bellied Plover may be more sensitive to disturbance than many other birds because it is especially wary, flushing from the nest or feeding and roosing sites when potential predators are still far away. Nevertheless, no evidence exists for desertion of the nest or roost sites because of disturbance.
- The Black-bellied Plover is the only American plover that has a hind toe on its foot. The hind toe, however, is so small that it is difficult to see in the field.
Nests in Arctic lowlands on dry tundra. Winters on coastal beaches and estuaries. May use flooded pasture and agricultural land.
Insects on breeding grounds. Invertebrates, primarily polychaetes (especially slender worms), bivalves, and crustaceans on wintering grounds.
- Clutch Size
- 1–5 eggs
- Egg Description
- Pinkish, greenish, or brownish, with distinct dark spots heaviest around large end.
- Condition at Hatching
- Covered with down and able to walk soon after hatching. Feed themselves within one day.
Scrape in ground, lined with lichens, pebbles, twigs, or leaves.
Moves by stop-run-stop, or stop-run-peck, scanning and capturing prey at stops. Captures prey by single peck or series of pecks. Worms and clams sometimes shaken vigorously in shallow water near capture site to remove mud.
Populations appear stable.
- Paulson, D. R. 1995. Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola). In The Birds of North America, No. 186 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and The American Ornithologists Union, Washington, D.C.