Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Genus: Pluvialis
Species: Pluvialis squatarola


BBPL alternate plumage. Photo from Wikimedia

The Black-bellied Plover is a plump, medium sized shorebird with a lurching gait and healthy appetite for polychaete worms. It commonly haunts the intertidal mudflats ranging the globe with little discrimination among temperate or tropical climates, but when the breeding season rolls around this marathon migrant takes to the wing in search of high arctic tundra. During migration and on the breeding grounds a conspicuous black and white plumage leaves little doubt to its identity. At other times one must tease the subtler field marks from its nondescript gray attire. Black armpits are its year round signature. It sports a stubby bill and large black eyes adept at nocturnal and diurnal foraging alike. Quick to flush and cause a ruckus, this plover has top notch sentinel acuity, often relied upon by its mudflat neighbors.  


Distribution, Migration, and Habitat
Diet and Foraging
Sounds and Vocal Behavior
Population Trends and Conservation
Field Notes
Literature Cited
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