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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Piping Plover

Charadrius melodus ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: CHARADRIIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Near Threatened

A small pale shorebird of open sandy beaches and alkali flats, the Piping Plover is found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, as well as inland in the northern Great Plains. Because of disturbance by people, all populations are considered endangered or threatened.

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Appearance

Shorebirds
Shorebirds
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Small shorebird.
  • Legs moderately long.
  • Neck short.
  • Back pale tan.
  • Underparts white with one black or brown band on chest, often broken in middle.
  • Legs yellow.

Immature Description

Similar to nonbreeding adult.

Range Map Help

Piping Plover Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • Snowy Plover has a thin dark bill, a less rounded, "less cute" profile, dark legs, a thinner chestband, and has a dark cheek during breeding.
  • Semipalmated Plover has a dark back, a thicker, more complete chestband, and has dark face patch.
  • Wilson's Plover is larger, darker on the back, has a thick, complete chestband, and a large, thick bill.
  • Killdeer is larger, darker-backed, and has two distinct chest bands.