Black-bellied Plover

A black-bellied plover walks on wet sand.

What Does a Black-bellied Plover Look Like? The black-bellied plover is a medium-sized shorebird that is the largest plover found in North America. It has a round head with a stocky neck and relatively long, black legs. The breeding male has a solid black face, throat, and belly that contrast strikingly with the bright white… Read more

Wilson’s Plover

Wilson's plover photo by Matt VanWallene / Wikimedia

The Wilson’s plover is one of the widely distributed species of small plovers in North America that have a single breast band. The broad neck band is black in breeding males, brown in famales and winter males. The Wilson’s is dark above, it’s legs are grayish-pink, and the long, heavy bill is always all black… Read more

Snowy Plover

Snowy plover photo by Michael L. Baird / Wikimedia

The snowy plover is pale above a partial breast band. The snowy is often described as having “collar buttons,” because, unlike some other plover varieties, its ring is generally restricted to two elongated dark patches on the sides of the neck. The legs are black or grayish and the thin, rather long bill bill is always… Read more

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated plover photo by Gregory Smith / Wikimedia

The semipalmated plover is one of the few species of small plovers in North America that show a single breast band. The bird is dark above, with bright orange legs. There is often at least some orange at the bill base, and extensive orange during the breeding season. The bill on the semipalmated starts with… Read more

Piping Plover

Piping plover, photo by / Wikimedia

One of the species of small plovers in North America that show a single breast band. The piping plover is pale above, with bright orange legs and a white rump conspicuous in flight. The bill shape is distinctive—chunky or seeming swollen, with the upper and lower edges of the bill appearing almost curved. These edges… Read more


Killdeer by Carrol Betts

Look for On its white breast, two black bands stand out. Other plovers—such as the smaller but similar semi-palmated plover—have only one band or none at all. Otherwise, killdeer are wet-sand brown above and clear white below, with white around the front of the face and eye. The killdeer is one of our largest and… Read more

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