Sunday, August 9, 2015

Black-bellied Plover

Some of our shorebirds go through amazing changes with seasons and breeding, one of these happens to be the Black-bellied Plover.
When I first started to embark into the 'birding' journey - I often wondered about the reasoning behind the bird's name. This is a prime example....where is the black belly?

Aha! This is more like it.

So, how does one recognize a bird you might ask.

The Black-bellied Plover is one of the largest Plover - heavy bodied, bull headed, thick necked, large billed - short & thick, tapering evenly to bluntly pointed tip. It forages primarily by sight with stop-run-peck (prey seen) and stop-run-stop (no prey seen). I would venture to say that the bird on the left is younger in comparison to the bird on the right - which still has its breeding plumage on which typically molts during and after fall migration.
This is quite a striking bird with its black belly.

Size differential can be seen here with the Laughing Gull....

and here with the Ruddy Turnstone.

Now that we are entering the 'fall' migration - we're bound to see a lot more of them on our shore.

And you can be certain that I'll be keeping a close eye on them.


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