Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Living Sanctuary section includes Marine Life, Habitats, Ocean Environment, History and Culture
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Living Sanctuary section includes Marine Life, Habitats, Ocean Environment, History and Culture
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Living Sanctuary section includes Marine Life, Habitats, Ocean Environment, History and Culture

Black-bellied plover

Black-bellied plover
(Pluvialis squatarola)

Habitat
Nests in Arctic lowlands on dry tundra. Winters on coastal beaches and estuaries.

Range
Breeds along Arctic coast, from western Alaska to Baffin Island. Winters from British Columbia and Massachusetts southward along coasts of United States and Central America, Bermuda, and West Indies, to southern coastal South America.

Eats
Insects on breeding grounds. Invertebrates, primarily polychaetes (especially slender worms), bivalves, and crustaceans on wintering grounds.

Feeds
Moves by stop-run-stop, or stop-run-peck, scanning and capturing prey at stops. Captures prey by single peck or series of pecks. Worms and clams sometimes shaken vigorously in shallow water near capture site to remove mud.

Reproduction
Nest is a scrape in the ground, lined with lichens, pebbles, twigs, or leaves. One to five pinkish, greenish, or brownish eggs with dark spots around the large end. Chicks are covered with down and able to walk soon after hatching, feeding themselves within one day.

Presence in Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Winters along the shoreline.

Notes
The Black-bellied Plover may be more sensitive to disturbance than many other birds because it is especially wary, flushing from the nest or feeding and roosting sites when potential predators are still far away.

Wary and quick to give alarm calls, the Black-bellied Plover functions as a sentinel for mixed groups of shorebirds.



Contact for page content: Liam Antrim
Photo of peach coral
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