Mountain Plover

Charadrius montanus




Lapwings and Plovers (Charadriidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Olive buff marked with black

Number of Eggs:

2 - 4

Incubation Days:

28 - 31

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with dry grass.





Mountain Plover: Medium-sized plover with pale brown upperparts, white underparts, and brown sides. Head has brown cap, white face, and dark eyestripe. Upperwings are brown with black edges and white bars; underwings are white. Tail is brown-black with white edges. Sexes are similar. Winter adult and juvenile are darker brown.

Range and Habitat

Mountain Plover: Breeds in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas Panhandle east to Nebraska. Spends winters from central California, southern Arizona and Texas southward into Mexico. One of the few shorebirds that lives in dry regions away from water, preferring shortgrass prairie and dry lowland areas; often found on grassy or bare dirt fields.

Breeding and Nesting

Mountain Plover: Two to four olive buff eggs marked with black are laid in a shallow ground depression, sometimes lined with dried grass. Incubation ranges from 28 to 31 days and is carried out by both parents; lays two sets of eggs, with the male incubating the first and the female the second set. Young start to fly at 33 to 34 days old.

Foraging and Feeding

Mountain Plover: Feeds on grasshoppers, beetles, flies, crickets, and other insects; forages on the ground.


Mountain Plover: When breeding, utters low, drawn-out whistles and harsh notes; in winter gives a harsh "krrr" note.

Similar Species

Mountain Plover: Winter adult and juvenile American Golden-Plovers have larger bills, spotted underparts, dark legs, and lack black-and-white bands on tails.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The area on top of the head of the bird.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X