- ORDER: Charadriiformes
- FAMILY: Charadriidae
A specialist hunter of fiddler crabs, the Wilson's Plover is a heavy-billed shorebird of sandy beaches in the southern United States and in coastal South America. It blends in well with its shell-strewn beach habitat, and its plaintive call is often the first clue to its presence. These sandy brown birds look like a small Killdeer or a larger, bigger-billed Semipalmated Plover, with a single, broad breast band. Wilson’s Plovers are vulnerable to beach disturbance and development, and are on the Yellow Watch List for species with restricted ranges.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Wilson’s Plovers seldom wander far from ocean coastlines. They’re rarely very numerous, and they can stay fairly high on the beach where they blend in with the dunes. They’re most visible when they forage along salt flats or mudflats during lower tides, when a careful scan may turn them up. As with many shorebirds, it’s helpful to have a spotting scope or join a bird walk where the leader will bring one along to help view the birds at distance.
- Chorlitejo piquigrueso (Spanish)
- Pluvier de Wilson (French)
- Cool Facts
- Ornithologist George Ord named Wilson's Plover for his friend, Alexander Wilson, often called “the father of American ornithology.” Wilson collected the type specimen in May 1813 at Cape May, New Jersey, where this species is only a rare visitor. Read more about Alexander Wilson and the birds named after him.
- The oldest recorded Wilson's Plover was a male at least 6 years old when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in South Carolina.