Black-bellied Plover – Up Close

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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.



  1. Julie Brown June 3, 2012 at 7:58 am

    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!

    • Mia McPherson June 10, 2012 at 6:25 am

      Julie, I hope you get your Black-bellied Plover shots next time you are in FL! Thank you.

  2. Bob Zeller June 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Another magnificent close-up, Mia.

  3. zephyr June 1, 2012 at 7:17 am

    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.

    • Mia McPherson June 2, 2012 at 4:45 am

      Thank you zephyr, they are exquisitie birds and the plumage has wonderful details. I look forward to seeing your “bird post”.

  4. Linda Rockwell May 31, 2012 at 8:29 pm

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

    • Mia McPherson June 2, 2012 at 4:44 am

      Linda, thanks so much for your comment!

  5. Tammy Karr May 31, 2012 at 6:54 pm

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

    • Mia McPherson June 2, 2012 at 4:43 am

      Thank you Tammy, their belly really is black!

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