Black-bellied Plover – Up Close

One of the shorebird species I am able to see in Utah during migration that I photographed often while I lived in Florida are the lovely Black-bellied Plovers (Pluvialis squatarola).
Black-bellied PloverBlack-bellied Plover – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 310mm, natural light

Black-bellied Plovers at the largest of the North American plovers and according to my iBird Pro app they are also the only American plover that as a hind toe on its foot, that hind toe is often too small to be seen on the field. I looked through my images and found one that shows the hind toe on both feet here. Thanks to the iBird Pro app I learned something new today!

I was able to get much closer to Black-bellied Plovers in Florida than I have been able to yet in Utah but hopefully I will get more opportunities to get “down & dirty” with them here.

The Black-bellied Plover (almost in breeding plumage) in the image above approached me rather closely while I laid on the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico, I’ve often wondered if it saw its reflection in the glass of my lens and wanted to check it out. A mystery I will never solve.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


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  3. Great pose, low angle, and light, Mia. I would love to see one of these beautiful little shorebirds. Maybe on my next trip to Florida!

  4. Another magnificent close-up, Mia.

  5. i LOVE seeing this exquisitely focused image of this sweet bird. i just met these fine little birds during my stay on the island, but don’t have a long lens or good binoculars. i made quick sketches (using an old guidebook in the cottage as my reference) but this is just stunning–those feather patterns!! When i finally get around to making my “bird post” on my blog i will definitely be linking to his post of yours.

  6. What a beautiful bird, and what a lovely photo! The breeding plumage is gorgeous!!

  7. Beautiful capture of the Black-bellied Plover, a bird that definitely suits its name!

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