Black-bellied Plover Life History


Habitat ShorelinesNests in Arctic lowlands on dry tundra. Winters on coastal beaches and estuaries. May use flooded pasture and agricultural land.Back to top


Food Aquatic invertebratesInsects on breeding grounds. Invertebrates, primarily polychaetes (especially slender worms), bivalves, and crustaceans on wintering grounds.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nest Description

Scrape in ground, lined with lichens, pebbles, twigs, or leaves.

Nesting Facts
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.
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Behavior Ground ForagerMoves 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.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernPopulations appear stable. They are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.Back to top


Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. 2014. The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Poole, Alan F., Peter Pyle, Michael A. Patten and Dennis R. Paulson. 2016. Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola), version 3.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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