SEMIPALMATED PLOVER


Charadrius semipalmatus


Description:

Unlike the long-billed sandpipers, this small bird doesn't probe the ground for food. Instead it forages from the surface, running and scanning for food in short bursts. They primarily eat small crustaceans and mollusks.


Appearance:

Brown upperparts. White underparts. White collar. Black patch around eye, which goes across its forehead and above its bill. White forehead and line behind its eye. Single black breast band. Orange legs. Bill is orange toward base and black toward tip. Immature birds have paler breast band and facial markings, dark bill, and yellowish legs. 6 to 8 inches in length.


Habitat:

Beaches, mudflats, lake edges, and shallow pools around salt marshes.


Nesting:

4 buff eggs with dark brown and black spots. The eggs have a 23-25 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 22-31 days. The nest is a shallow ground depression lined with shell fragments, pebbles, and bits of vegetation.


Observed Locations:

  • San Diego Flood Control Channel (near Robb Field), San Diego





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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.