Black-bellied Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Lapwings and Plovers (Charadriidae)

Code 4

BBPL

Code 6

PLUSQU

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Black-bellied Plover, also commonly called the "Grey Plover" outside of North America, has a large breeding range of nearly 4,000,000 square kilometers. It breeds in tundra habitats in Alaska and northern Canada, and northern Russia, and winters in coastal habitats in southern British Columbia, and the United States south to Chile and Argentina, and in Europe, Africa, southern and eastern Asia, and Australasia. This species forages for worms, mollusks, crustaceans, and insects on beaches and mud flats, and has an estimated global population of 692,000. The Black-bellied Plover has a current conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Black-bellied Plover: This medium-sized shorebird has black upperparts vividly marked with a white spot on each feather. It has a black face, throat and belly and white forehead and crown that extends over the eye, down the back and sides of the neck. Vent and wing stripe visible in flight. Strong direct flight with powerful rapid wing beats. Feeds on marine worms and insects. Sexes are similar.

 

Range and Habitat

Black-bellied Plover: Breeds in western and northern Alaska and Arctic Canada. Spends winters mainly along the coasts from British Columbia and Massachusetts southward to coastal Mexico and the West Indies. Breeds on tundra; spends winters on beaches, mudflats, marshes, lakeshores, and plowed fields.

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Black-bellied Plover SONGS AND CALLS

Black-bellied Plover H1

Call is a shrill, high-pitched series of whistles.

Black-bellied Plover C1

Flight call is a three syllabled "pee-oh-wee".

Similar Sounding

Common Ringed Plover S1

Call is a whistled "tu-weea".

Pacific Golden-Plover A3

"Peeo-weeuh" calls made by a male in a display flight.


Voice Text

"pee-oh-wee", kiuuu-di-duu", "bibibibibibi", "klee-ee"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Black-bellied Plover is the only American plover that has a hind toe on its foot. The hind toe, however, is so small that it is difficult to see in the field.
  • They are usually the first to take flight when a flock of shorebirds is approached. When disturbed, they tend to fly out over water, circle, and land again behind the observer.
  • Also known as Gray Plovers, they are the largest of the North American plovers. They can be found on six different continents during the winter season, but breed only on the Arctic tundra.
  • 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.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

RANGE MAP PALAU

About this Palau Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Palau islands.

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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UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
VentX
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
UnderpartsX

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

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X