Living Bird Magazine
Black-bellied PloverPluvialis squatarola
- ORDER: Charadriiformes
- FAMILY: Charadriidae
A large shorebird of coastal beaches, the Black-bellied Plover is striking in its black-and-white breeding plumage. It is the largest plover in North America and can be found along the coasts in winter northward to Massachusetts and British Columbia.More ID Info
- Chorlito Gris (Spanish)
- Pluvier argenté (French)
- Cool Facts
- 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.
- The oldest recorded Black-bellied Plover was at least 12 years, 8 months old when it was found in California.