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Plovers & Killdeer: Striking birds with unique talents
Plovers are true shorebirds, but several types of plovers inhabit inland
areas such as fields and plains.
Plovers are distinguished from their similar shorebird relatives the
sandpipers by their relatively short bills, with a noticeable swelling
near the tip.
Neck and tail are short, the tail is held horizontally, not drooping.
Wings are pointed, almost narrow.
Many of the plovers have a strikingly patterned plumage.
Plovers take several rapid steps on land, then stop.
Plovers forage on insects and small marine life on shore or grasslands.
Although relatively sociable, they seldom form the large flocks in the
non breeding season.
The most common plover is the killdeer, a banded plover.
The Killdeer is very common in fields, found over a large part
of North America.
It has two neck bands, but only one in the juvenile.
The tail of the Killdeer is longer than in other plovers.
They seldom occur in large flocks.
A typical characteristic of the Killdeer is that it fakes an injury
in order to distract predators from it's nest.
Killdeers build their nests in a hollow in the ground in open
fields or pastures. It is a slight depression in the ground lined
with pebbles, grass or other debris.
They lay 4 pale olive to brown eggs heavily spotted or mottled.
Killdeers feed mainly on insects and earthworms.
The golden plover has one of the longest migrations known, a round trip
of almost 8000 miles from the arctic nesting areas to the southern tip
of South America; part of this route takes it about 2400 miles over
open ocean from Nova Scotia to northeastern South America.
Banded Plovers are similar to the larger unbanded plovers but have
one or two black neck bands.
Plovers make up the family Charadriidae of the order Charadriiformes. T
Types of North American Plovers Include:
Black Bellied Plover
Lesser Golden Plover
Index of North