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Piping Plover - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 22:07, 12 February 2022 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (→‎External Links: Additional GSearch for common name, GSearch checked template)
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Photo by robert s
Milford Point Conn. Audubon Center, May 2009
Charadrius melodus


Sand-coloured, yellow-orange legs, black band across the forehead from eye to eye, and a black ring around the neck during the breeding season. Beak orange and black-tipped.

Similar Species

Differs from Kentish/Snowy Plover by multiple features. The beak of the Piping Plover is orange and black-tipped, as opposed to the Snowy's/Kentish's thinner, all-black beak. The Snowy/Kentish is also a darker sandy-brown color, and has an incomplete black collar and breastband (which Piping loses in the nonbreeding season, from September to February). Snowy/Kentish also has grayish legs as opposed to Piping's orange. Piping also lacks Snowy/Kentish's black cheek patch, but has a more pronounced white supercillium.

Winter plumage
Photo by chris baker
Estero Beach, Fort Myers, Florida, USA, November 2005


Breeds eastern Canada and U.S., also southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, northern Montana, western and central North Dakota, central South Dakota, and most of Nebraska, localized populations in Colorado and the Great Lakes; winters southeastern U.S., Bahamas and Greater Antilles.


This is a monotypic species[1].

Subspecies circumcinctus is generally considered invalid[2].


Sandy or gravel beaches or sandbars and mudflats.

Photo by Glen Tepke
Allen's Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA, July 2002


Classified as Near Threatened, mainly due to beach disturbance.[3].



Typical plover 'run and stop' when feeding. Bobs the head.


Diet includes insects, marine worms and crustaceans.


Very vocal during the breeding season, making soft whistles whilst flutting close to the ground.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Avibase
  3. BirdLife International
  4. Wikipedia

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