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Text by Sabrina Mazer

Semipalmated Plover
Charadrius semipalmatus

The Semipalmated Plover, is a small bird with orange legs and beak that is ash- brown in color, with a white chest and stomach and black accents.

The male plover has a black streak on his head that crosses through his eye, as well as a black collar like band around his neck. The female plover has a collar much like the male, but has brown plumage on around her eye. The juvenile birds have an appearance very similar to their older counterparts, however the black collar band may be invisible or incomplete.

Unlike many birds, the Semipalmated Plover nests on the ground. Before the females complete their migration to their breeding ground, the male Plovers build nests in shallow depressions in the ground. The male and female parents take turns incubating and protecting the eggs.

Plovers feed their hatch-lings and themselves with worms as well as other small invertebrates that can be found along the shoreline. The birds pass through northern Virginia during their migration to more coastal areas.


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State of Utah Wildlife Resources, Semipalmated Plover