Mountain Plover

Silhouette PloversPlovers
Mountain PloverCharadrius montanus
  • ORDER: Charadriiformes
  • FAMILY: Charadriidae

Basic Description

The understated, elegant sandy plumage of the Mountain Plover blends perfectly with its pale shortgrass and desert surroundings—when alarmed, this bird often simply sits down and disappears. Nesting on high, dry plains of western North America, this species is a companion of classic prairie wildlife like bison, pronghorn, and prairie dogs. Sadly, intensive conversion of prairies to agriculture and other uses has hit this species hard, with more than 80% of the population gone in the last half-century.

More ID Info
image of range map for Mountain PloverRange map provided by Birds of the WorldExplore Maps

Find This Bird

The first thing to do when looking for a Mountain Plover is to carry along or borrow a spotting scope. These small shorebirds live in wide-open spaces and can look very much like a clump of sod. In summer, look for them on preserved patches of shortgrass prairie such as the Pawnee National Grasslands, Colorado. They often are attracted to prairie dog towns. In winter, look for them on plowed, newly planted, or fallow agricultural fields, as well as rangeland with short grass. eBird records can also help find places for patient searches.

Other Names

  • Chorlito Llanero (Spanish)
  • Pluvier montagnard (French)
  • Cool Facts