Our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition has just has a few more days to go! Today's new bird is a widespread species of plover: the Black-bellied Plover! Black-bellied Plovers are medium-sized shorebirds that breed in the high Arctic, in tundra habitat. During... Read more »
The Black-bellied Plover is a medium-sized species of plover that breeds in the Arctic. Nesting occurs in tundra habitat in a shallow scrape. Outside of breeding season, this bird is found in coastal areas nearly the world over.
Because their winter coastal habitat differs greatly from their tundra breeding grounds, the diet of the Black-bellied Plover varies throughout the year. On the tundra, they feed mostly on insects with some plant material like seeds and stems being consumed as well. During the winter, coastal fare like crustaceans, molluscs, and marine worms make up a large part of the diet.
The diet is not the only thing that differs with Black-bellied Plovers with the changing of their habitat. Breeding adult plovers are recognized by their spotted backs and white-bordered black underparts. Their winter plumage is a much less dramatic, with mostly grey upperparts and white underparts. In fact, outside of North America, the species is known as the Grey Plover.