Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)

The black-bellied plover is sometimes called the grey plover, because of its silvery plumage. Black-bellied plovers are nervous birds, easily scared into flight by the slightest disturbance. It is possibly because of their heightened wariness that they were less affected by hunting during the early 1900s than other, less vigilant species of shorebirds. When feeding in mixed flocks, black-bellied plovers are often the first to notice an approaching predator and take off, alerting other species.


The black-bellied plover breeds exclusively in the Arctic islands, and winters on the Atlantic coast from southern New England to Mexico. It is common on Canadian Maritime coasts when it stops over during its migrations.

For a complete species account, visit the Arctic section.