Semipalmated Plover on mudflats

Semipalmated Plover on the mudflatsSemipalmated Plover on mudflats – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/750, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Semipalmated Plovers (Charadrius semipalmatus) are small shorebirds that breed in the Arctic or sub-Arctic tundra. During migration they prefer mudflats, saltwater marshes, tidal areas, lake edges and flooded fields. In winter they prefer coastal habitats which is where I photographed this bird on the mudflats of a tidal lagoon at Fort De Soto County Park in Florida. They forage in typical plover style, run pause, pluck, run pause, pluck. They eat small aquatic mollusks, crustaceans, beetles, flies and spiders. Semipalmated Plovers use the sensitive soles of their feet to locate prey.

When I photographed Semipalmated Plovers in Florida I found that if I got down to their level and laid still they would approach me very closely. That takes patience but the effort is well worth it.



  1. Bob Zeller March 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Mia, it is always fun to check out your blog daily. I love your little surprises and the great photographs. And I know that you love laying down on the job. 🙂

    • Mia McPherson March 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      Bob, you found me out. Yes, I LOVE laying down on the job! Thank you for your wonderful comments and support my friend!

  2. Carol Mattingly March 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I have to say Mia, you in that image standing in waist high water really attracted me to your website. And every time you mention getting down closer to your subject, it makes me stop and think, perhaps I need to. I love plovers. They are so adorable, but they are fast and I think funny to watch. Carol

    • Mia McPherson March 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      Carol, If I can sand crawl, slither through water, flop down on my belly to get images of birds, I’ll always do it! I’m goofy that way. I love plovers too. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Tammy Karr March 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Beautiful photo Mia! Definitely looks like you patience paid off! These little Plovers are so much fun to watch!

    • Mia McPherson March 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      Tammy, I think my patience paid off too. They are fun plovers to observe and photograph. Thank you.

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