Birds Of Southern California

Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus)

The semipalmated plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) is a small plover. This species weighs 22–63 g (0.78–2.22 oz) and measures 14–20 cm (5.5–7.9 in) in length and 35–56 cm (14–22 in) across the wings.[2] Adults have a grey-brown back and wings, a white belly, and a white breast with one black neckband. They have a brown cap, a white forehead, a black mask around the eyes and a short orange and black bill. Their breeding habitat is open ground on beaches or flats across northern Canada and Alaska. They nest on the ground in an open area with little or no plant growth. They are migratory and winter in coastal areas of the southern United States, the Caribbean and much of South America. They are extremely rare vagrants to western Europe, and have been found in Tierra del Fuego and the Isles of Scilly.[3] Their true status may be obscured by the difficulty in identifying them from the very similar ringed plover of Eurasia, of which it was formerly considered a subspecies. These birds forage for food on beaches, tidal flats and fields, usually by sight. They eat insects, crustaceans and worms. "Broken wing" display This bird resembles the killdeer but is much smaller and has only one band.[4] The term "semipalmated" refers to its partly webbed feet. Like the killdeer and since its nest is on the ground, it uses a "broken-wing" display to lure intruders away from the nest.