Piping Plover: Small, pale sand-colored plover, showy black bands on head, neck. White upertail with white-edged black tip. Short bill has bright orange base and black tip. Legs are bright orange. Eats fly larvae, beetles, crustaceans and marine worms. Feeds higher on the beach than other plovers.
Range and Habitat
Piping Plover: Nearly always found in open sandy areas near water, including ocean and lakeside beaches or river sandbars. Found along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, moving north to breed and south for winter. Also breeds in the upper Midwest.
Piping plovers will sometimes extend one foot out into wet sand and vibrate it to scare up food items, a foraging technique known as foot-trembling.
Adults will feign a broken wing, drawing attention to itself and away from their chicks when a predator is near.
Their name is derived from its plaintive bell-like whistles which are often heard before the bird is visible.
A group of plovers has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "congregation", "deceit", "ponderance" and "wing" of plovers.
The Piping Plover has a small breeding range, confined to a small portion of the United States and Canada. Native to North America and nearby island nations, this bird prefers inland wetland or coastal marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at only just over 6,000 individuals and while conservation efforts are helping the population to rise, the threat of decline without such efforts necessitates continued inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Piping Plover is Near Threatened.