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Mountain Plover


IUCN Conservation Status: Near Threatened

A native of the short-grass prairie, the Mountain Plover is a dull-colored shorebird of open, dry areas. Despite its name, it breeds in the high tablelands, not the mountains.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
8.3–9.1 in
21–23 cm
3.2–3.9 oz
90–110 g
Other Names
  • Pluvier montagnard (French)
  • Tildío montañés, Chichicuilote montañés (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Mountain Plover is one of the species that uses prairie dog towns to provide suitable breeding habitat in areas of longer grasses.
  • The oldest recorded Mountain Plover was at least 10 years old when it was sighted in Montana in the wild and identified by its band. It had been banded in the same state.



Breeds on open plains at moderate elevations. Winters in short-grass plains and fields, plowed fields, and sandy deserts.




Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
1–4 eggs
Condition at Hatching
Downy and active, able to leave nest as soon as down dries.
Nest Placement



Ground Forager


status via IUCN

Near Threatened

Mountain Plover populations declined by over 3% per year between 1966 and 2014, resulting in a cumulative decline of 80%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. A 2012 study estimates a breeding population of 20,000. These birds only live in North America, principally in the west and central areas of the U.S. during the summer, migrating south to Mexico and the southwest U.S. Mountain Plover is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists species most in danger of extinction without significant conservation action. A proposal to list the species as "endangered" was rejected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2003, stating that species was more common than was believed. However, Mountain Plover is listed a Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.


Range Map Help

Mountain Plover Range Map
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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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