Black-bellied PloverBlack-bellied Plover – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 310mm, natural light

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 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.