SNOWY PLOVER

Snowy Plover in breeding plumage
Snowy Plover in breeding plumage
Photo
Bob Gress

 

Snowy Plover
(Kentish Plover)
Charadrius alexandrinus

Length: 
6 - 6 3/4 inches
Wingspan: 

16 1/2 - 18 1/2 inches

  • Description:   This is a sparrow-sized, light brown to tan and white plover. During the breeding season, look for a single, partial dark neck band, black forehead, dark legs and dark colored bill. Often a black smudge is seen behind and below the eye. In nonbreeding plumages, the markings are not as dark .
  • Similar Species:  Dark legs and bill separate Snowy from both Semipalmated and Piping plovers.
  • Comments:  Different subspecies and discrete populations of Snowy Plovers are found worldwide. Genetic studies have been used to distinguish subspecies. Characteristics such as behavior and geographic separation are used to distinguish distinct populations. Currently, the Pacific Coast population, considered distinct from the Great Plains population, is federally listed as threatened. Inland populations of the Great Plains subspecies are state listed as birds of concern throughout most of their range. Within the Great Plains, Snowy Plovers breed on alkali and dry mudflats and sandy areas along river channels. They spend the nonbreeding season on sandy beaches along the Pacific and Gulf coasts.

Other Great Plains Plovers

BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER MOUNTAIN PLOVER
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER KILLDEER
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER PIPING PLOVER

Follow the tracks!


Peep's Puddle
Text: Suzanne Fellows and Bob Gress
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