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Semipalmated Plover


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A small dark shorebird with a single band across its chest, the Semipalmated Plover is the most common plover seen on migration in most areas.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
6.7–7.5 in
17–19 cm
1.7 oz
47 g
Other Names
  • Pluvier semipalmé (French)
  • Chorlito semipalmeado, Cholo semipalmado (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Semipalmated Plover has been seen to swim short distances across small water channels during foraging while on migration. Chicks also swim short distances to follow parents to small islets on shallow lakes
  • The oldest recorded Semipalmated Plover was at least 9 years, 2 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Massachusetts.






Nest Placement



Ground Forager

Searches for prey visually. Runs several steps, stops, stares, and then pecks or quickly snatches at prey.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

The 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.


  • Nol, E., and M. S. Blanken. 1999. Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus). In The Birds of North America, No. 444 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
  • 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. Available from the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan website.
  • North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee. 2014. State of the Birds 2014 Report. U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, DC.
  • USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2015. Longevity records of North American Birds.

Range Map Help

Semipalmated Plover Range Map
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