Skip to Content

Semipalmated Plover Life History


Habitat ShorelinesBack to top


Food Aquatic invertebratesBack to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nesting Facts

Clutch Size:2-5 eggs
Number of Broods:1 brood
Egg Length:1.3-1.3 in (3.24-3.31 cm)
Egg Width:0.9-0.9 in (2.28-2.41 cm)
Incubation Period:23-25 days
Back to top


Behavior Ground ForagerSearches for prey visually. Runs several steps, stops, stares, and then pecks or quickly snatches at prey.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernThe Semipalmated Plover is among the few plovers whose numbers are apparently increasing, perhaps owing to its versatility in food and habitat choice, its wide-spread coastal winter distribution, or its habitat expansion in the sub-Arctic as a result of disturbance by both humans and arctic geese. A 2012 study estimates a North American breeding population of 200,000. Semipalmated Plover is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Back to top


Andres, B. A., P. A. Smith, R. I. G. Morrison, C. L. Gratto-Trevor, S. C. Brown, and C. A. Friis (2012). Population estimates of North American shorebirds, 2012. Wader Study Group Bulletin 119:178–194.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. (2019). Longevity records of North American birds. Version 1019 Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2019.

Nol, Erica and Michele S. Blanken. (2014). Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

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

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, USA.

Back to top

Need Bird ID Help? Try Merlin

Close Merlin