Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated plover, Charadrius semipalmatus,
Semipalmated plover – breeding
Semipalmated plover -non  breeding
Semipalmated plover – non-breeding

Semipalmated Plovers are small shorebirds noted for their stop-and-go foraging style.

Breeding adults are gray-brown on the back and white underneath. They have black collars and black masks with stubby orange bills.

Non-breeding adults are browner overall and without the full collar and mask. Juveniles look similar to adults but their collars and facial markings are barely noticeable. 

  • Charadrius semipalmatus
  • Length: 6.5 – 7.5 in (17 – 19 cm)
  • Weight: 2.43 oz (69 g)
  • Wingspan: 14 – 15.25 in (36 – 39 cm)


Semipalmated Plovers that breed in Canada and northeastern US states migrate after breeding but those along the US, Central

Habitat and Diet

You can find Semipalmated Plovers in the arctic tundra during the breeding season. They prefer sandy or mossy ground near water sources with low vegetation.

Semipalmated Plovers will dash across mudflats or in shallow water and then pause to scan the area. Prey usually includes worms, crustaceans, mollusks, and snails. In agricultural fields, they will feast on spiders, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, flies, and even plant seeds.

Semipalmated Plover Calls:


Nests of Semipalmated Plovers are made by males and lined with leaves, shells, rocks, moss, and seaweed. The female lays up to five eggs and both parents take turns with the incubation for about twenty-four days.

Fun Fact:

The “Semipalmated” name of the Semipalmated Plover refers to its partially webbed feet.