Piping Plover

Charadrius melodus

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Lapwings and Plovers (Charadriidae)

Code 4

PIPL

Code 6

CHAMEL

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Piping Plover has a small breeding range, confined to a small portion of the United States and Canada. Native to North America and nearby island nations, this bird prefers inland wetland or coastal marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at only just over 6,000 individuals and while conservation efforts are helping the population to rise, the threat of decline without such efforts necessitates continued inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Piping Plover is Near Threatened.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Piping Plover: Small, pale sand-colored plover, showy black bands on head, neck. White upertail with white-edged black tip. Short bill has bright orange base and black tip. Legs are bright orange. Eats fly larvae, beetles, crustaceans and marine worms. Feeds higher on the beach than other plovers.

 

Range and Habitat

Piping Plover: This species is nearly always found in open sandy areas near water, including ocean and lakeside beaches or river sandbars. In winter, it is found along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts from Virginia south to the Yucatan Peninsula; it moves north to breed and south for winter. This bird breeds in the upper Midwest, central Canada, and along the Atlantic coast north of Virginia.

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Piping Plover SONGS AND CALLS

Piping Plover C1

"Peep, peep-lo" calls given in flight.

Piping Plover C3

Flight calls from a pair.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"peep-u"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Piping plovers will sometimes extend one foot out into wet sand and vibrate it to scare up food items, a foraging technique known as foot-trembling.
  • Adults will feign a broken wing, drawing attention to itself and away from their chicks when a predator is near.
  • Their name is derived from its plaintive bell-like whistles which are often heard before the bird is visible.
  • A group of plovers has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "congregation", "deceit", "ponderance" and "wing" of plovers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X