Snowy Plover

Charadrius nivosus

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Lapwings and Plovers (Charadriidae)

Code 4

SNPL

Code 6

CHAALE

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Snowy Plover has a large breeding range of 1,600,000 square kilometers. This includes salt flats, sandy beaches, and other open, sandy habitats in the southern and western coasts of the United States, Kansas, Texas, and other parts of the western United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and western South America. It winters in coastal habitats of the southern United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. Nests are shallow scrapes, and are built on the ground. Diets consist of small insects and invertebrates. The Snowy Plover has an estimated global population of 38,000 individuals, and a conservation rating of Near Threatened because of a moderate, long term population decline and ongoing threats to breeding and wintering habitats.

SUMMARY

Overview

Snowy Plover: Small plover, pale brown upperparts, white underparts. Dark patches on either side of upper breast (partial breast band), behind eye, and on white forehead. Bill, legs, and feet are black. Wings have white stripes visible in flight. Dark tail has white edges. Dark gray legs and feet.

 

Range and Habitat

Snowy Plover: This species is a resident along the Pacific Coast from Washington to Baja California and along the Gulf Coast from Florida to the Yucatan Peninsula. It is also a resident in much of the West Indies. Some birds breed locally in the southwestern states and migrate to coastal Mexico. Its preferred habitats include sandy coastal beaches and shallow alkaline lakes.

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Snowy Plover SONGS AND CALLS

Snowy Plover C1

Trilled "purrt" and "tur-weet" calls.

Snowy Plover C2

"Purrt" calls given in flight.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"krut", "ku-wheet"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Snowy Plover is also known by the British name "Kentish Plover" in many other parts of the world.
  • Keeping to large, flat expanses of sand, it avoids competition for food in a habitat in which few other birds can exist.
  • Young leave their nest within three hours of hatching. They walk, run, and swim well and forage unassisted by parents, but require periodic brooding for many days after hatching.
  • 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

Artist

Imran Kahn

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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UnderpartsX

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

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X