Black-bellied Plover Images and Information:
- Black-bellied Plovers are the largest plover in North America. The have long legs, short necks and bills and large round heads. Their body plumage is mostly gray and black on the backs. Males get a bright white stripes running from their crowns to their wings and their throats, forenecks, breasts and upper belly are pure black in breeding plumage. Females in breeding plumage can be as bright as the males or very different. In winter the Black-bellied Plovers are speckled creams and browns with pale heads.
- Black-bellied Plovers are wary and quick to give alarm calls, they are often a “sentinel” bird, sentinels warn other birds that danger is nearby.
- The Black-bellied Plover is the only North American Plover with a hind toe on its foot, these toes are very small and often go unnoticed.
- Black-bellied Plovers are migratory, they breed in Arctic lowlands on dry tundra and winter on coastal beaches and estuaries. They will also inhabit flooded agricultural lands and fields.
- Black-bellied plovers eat insects on their breeding grounds, on their winter grounds they eat invertebrates, marine worms (polychaetes), bivalves and crustaceans.
- Black-bellied Plovers lay 1 to 5 eggs which take 26 to 27 days to hatch. Both sexes incubate.
- A group of plovers is called a “ponderance”, “deceit”, “congregation”, “brace” or a “wing” of plovers.
- Black-bellied Plovers can live up to 12 years.