Piping Plover
Photo by Bob Gress
Used by permission

Piping Plover
Charadrius melodus

Federal Status:

State Status:

  • Range: Kansas range map for Piping Plover
    Dark Blue = Counties with designated critical habitat
    Light Blue = Historical records
  • Comments: The piping plover is named for its clear, melodious “peep-peep-peeplo” call. The majority of nesting habitat for this bird in Kansas is on sandbars along the Kansas River. It usually lays 4 eggs in a shallow depression in the sand. The eggs are spotted and blend into the sandy background. Sand bars become too vegetated over time for suitable nest sites unless occasional floods scour them bare. The piping plover is well-camouflaged and difficult to see until it runs and stops in search of invertebrates. Like the more common killdeer, the piping plover feigns injury to lure predators away from its nest or chicks. Mated pairs often stay together for 2-3 years and return to the same sandbar they previously occupied if the habitat remains suitable. Piping plovers can live up to 14 years.

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Other Birds on the Kansas T&E List

Kansas Wildlife Refuge
Text: Ed Miller and Bob Gress
Range Maps and Web Design: Jim Mason

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Great Plains Nature Center
6232 E. 29th Street North
Wichita, KS 67220-2200             Call:  316-683-5499            Fax:  316-688-9555