Plover Pictures

01
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New Zealand Dotterel

New Zealand Dotterel - Charadrius obscurus
New Zealand dotterel - Charadrius obscurus. Photo © Chris Gin / Wikipedia.

Plovers are a group of wading birds that includes about 40 species found around the globe. Plovers have short bills, long legs, and feed on invertebrates such as insects and worms.

The New Zealand dotterel is an endangered plover native to New Zealand. There are two subspecies of New Zealand dotterels, a northern subspecies (Charadrius obscurus aquilonius), which breeds on the coast of North Island, and a southern subspecies (Charadrius obscurus obscurus), which is restricted to Stewart Island.

The New Zealand dotterel is the largest member of its genus. It has a brown upper body, and a belly that is off-white in color during the summer and autumn and rusty-red in color during the winter and spring. The main threat to the survival of both subspecies of New Zealand dotterel has been predation by introduced mammals.

02
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Piping Plover

Piping plover - Charadrius melodus
Piping plover - Charadrius melodus. Photo © Johann Schumacher / Getty Images.

The piping plover is an endangered shorebird that inhabits two distinct geographic regions in North America. One population occupies the Atlantic coast from Nova Scotia to North Carolina. The other population occupies a patch of the northern Great Plains. The species winters along the Atlantic coast from the Carolinas to Florida and much of the Gulf of Mexico coastline. Piping plovers are small plovers that have a single black neck band, a short bill, pale upper feathers and a white belly. They feed on freshwater and marine invertebrates along the edges of lakes or on sandy beaches.

03
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Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated plover - Charadrius semipalmatus
Semipalmated plover - Charadrius semipalmatus. Photo © Grambo Photography / Getty Images.

The semipalmated plover is a small shorebird with a single breast band of dark feathers. Semipalmated plovers have a white forehead, a white collar around their neck and a brown upper body. Semipalmated plovers breed in northern Canada and throughout Alaska. The species migrates southward to sites on the Pacific coast of California, Mexico, and Central America as well as along the Atlantic coast from the Virginias south into the Gulf of Mexico and Central America. Semipalmated plovers nest in open habitat, preferring sites near sub-arctic lakes, marshes and streams. The species feeds on fresh and salt water invertebrates such as worms, amphipods, bivalves, gastropods, and flies.

04
of 15

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated plover - Charadrius semipalmatus
Semipalmated plover - Charadrius semipalmatus. Photo © MyLoupeUIG / Getty Images.

The semipalmated plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) is a small shorebird with a single breast band of dark feathers. Semipalmated plovers have a white forehead, a white collar around their neck and a brown upper body. Semipalmated plovers breed in northern Canada and throughout Alaska. The species migrates southward to sites on the Pacific coast of California, Mexico, and Central America as well as along the Atlantic coast from the Virginias south into the Gulf of Mexico and Central America. Semipalmated plovers nest in open habitat, preferring sites near sub-arctic lakes, marshes and streams. The species feeds on fresh and salt water invertebrates such as worms, amphipods, bivalves, gastropods, and flies.

05
of 15

Greater Sand Plover

Greater sand plover - Charadrius leschenaultii
Greater sand plover - Charadrius leschenaultii. Photo © M Schaef / Getty Images.

The greater sand plover (Charadrius leschenaultii) is a migratory plover that breeds in Turkey and Central Asia and winters in Africa, Asia and Australia. The species is also an occasional visitor to Europe. Like most plovers, it prefers habitats with sparse vegetation such as sandy beaches. BirdLife International estimates the population of greater sand plovers to be in the range of 180,000 to 360,000 individuals and it is thus classified to be of Least Concern.

06
of 15

Ringed Plover

Ringed plover - Charadrius hiaticula
Ringed plover - Charadrius hiaticula. Photo © Mark Hamblin / Getty Images.

The ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula) is a small shorebird with a distinct black chest band that stands out against its white breast and chin. Ringed plovers have orange legs and a black-tipped orange bill. They inhabit coastal areas as well as some inland sites such as sand and gravel pits. The species occurs over a vast range that includes Africa, Europe, Central Asia, and North America and is a vagrant species in Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and Australia. Their population is estimated to be in the range of 360,000 and 1,300,000 individuals. Their extensive distribution and large population mean that the IUCN has classified them in the Least Concern category, although their numbers are thought to be declining.

07
of 15

Malaysian Plover

Malaysian Plover - Charadrius peronii
Malaysian plover - Charadrius peronii. Photo © Lip Kee Yap / Wikipedia.

The Malaysian plover (Charadrius peronii) is a ringed plover from Southeast Asia. The species is classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN and BirdLife International. Their population is estimated to be between 10,000 and 25,000 individuals and decreasing. Malaysian plovers inhabit Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines and Indonesia. They occupy sand beaches, open dunes and coral beaches.

08
of 15

Kittlitz's Plover

Kittlitz's plover - Charadrius pecuarius
Kittlitz's plover - Charadrius pecuarius. Photo © Jeremy Woodhouse / Getty Images.

The Kittlitz’s plover (Charadrius pecuarius) is common shorebird throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, the Nile Delta and Madagascar. This small plover inhabits inland and coastal habitats such as sand dunes, mudflats, scrublands and sparse grasslands. Kittlitz's plovers feed on insects, mullusks, crustaceans, and earthworms. Like many plovers, adult Kittlitz's plovers will feign a broken wing to distract predators that pose a threat to their young.

09
of 15

Wilson's Plover

Wilson's plovers - Charadrius wilsonia
Wilson's plovers - Charadrius wilsonia. Photo © Dick Daniels / Getty Images.

Wilson's plovers (Charadrius wilsonia) are medium-sized plovers notable for their large black bill and dark brown breast band. They inhabit pebble beaches, sandy shores, sand dunes, mudflats and coastal lagoons. Wilson's plovers forage at low tide when they can easily feed on crustaceans—they have a particular fondness for fiddler crabs. Wilson's plovers nest on beaches and dunes as well as along the edges of lagoons.

10
of 15

Killdeer

Killdeer - Charadrius vociferus
Killdeer - Charadrius vociferus. Photo © Glenn Bartley / Getty Images.

The killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) is a medium-sized plover native to Nearctic and Neotropical regions. The species occurs along the coastline of the Gulf of Alaska and extends southward and eastward from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic coast. Killdeer inhabit savannas, sandbars, mudflats and fields. They have a dark, double breast band, a brown upper body and a white belly. They lay 2 to 6 eggs in nests they construct by scraping a depression in the bare ground. They feed on aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates such as insects and crustaceans.

11
of 15

Hooded Plover

Hooded plover - Thinornis rubricollis
Hooded plover - Thinornis rubricollis. Photo © Auscape UIG / Getty Images.

The hooded plover (Thinornis rubricollis) is native to Australia. The species is classified by the IUCN and BirdLife International as Near Threatened due to its small, declining population. There are an estimated 7,000 hooded plovers left throughout their range which includes Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales. Hooded plovers occur as vagrants in Queensland as well. Hooded plovers live on sandy beaches, especially in areas where there is an abundance of seaweed that washes ashore and where the beach is rimmed by sand dunes.

12
of 15

Grey Plover

Grey plover - Pluvialis squatarola
Grey plover - Pluvialis squatarola. Photo © Tim Zurowski / Getty Images.

During the breeding season, the grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola) has a black face and neck, a white cap that stretches down the back of its neck, a speckled body, a white rump and a black-barred tail. During the non-breeding months, grey plovers are primarily speckled grey on their back, wings, and face with lighter speckles on their belly (as pictured above).

Grey plovers breed throughout northwestern Alaska and the Canadian Arctic. They nest on the tundra where they lay 3 to 4 spotted brown eggs in a moss-lined nest on the ground. Grey plovers migrate southward to British Columbia, the United States, and Eurasia during winter months. The grey plover is sometimes referred to as the black-bellied plover.

13
of 15

Black-Bellied Plover

Black-bellied plover - Pluvialis squatarola
Black-bellied plover - Pluvialis squatarola. Photo © David Tipling / Getty Images.
14
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Three-Banded Plover

Three-banded plover - Charadrius tricollaris
Three-banded plover - Charadrius tricollaris. Photo © Arno Meintjes / Getty Images.

The three-banded plover (Charadrius tricollaris) inhabits Madagascar and eastern and southern Africa. Due to its extensive range and significant numbers, the three-banded plover is classified in the category of Least Concern by the IUCN. There are between 81,000 and 170,000 individuals in the three-banded plover population and their numbers are thought to be not declining significantly at this time.

15
of 15

American Golden Plover

American golden plover - Pluvialis dominica
American golden plover - Pluvialis dominica. Photo © Richard Packwood / Getty Images.

The American golden plover (Pluvialis dominica) is a striking plover with a dark black and gold speckled upper body. They have a distinct white neck stripe that encircles the crown of the head and ends on the upper breast. American golden plovers have a black face and a black cap. They feed on invertebrates, berries and seeds. They breed in northern Canada and Alaska and winter along the Pacific Coast of the United States.

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Klappenbach, Laura. "Plover Pictures." ThoughtCo, Jan. 13, 2017, thoughtco.com/plover-pictures-4123079. Klappenbach, Laura. (2017, January 13). Plover Pictures. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/plover-pictures-4123079 Klappenbach, Laura. "Plover Pictures." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/plover-pictures-4123079 (accessed May 21, 2018).