Black Bellied Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

This medium-sized shorebird is most commonly identified by its breeding plumage. Adult males have a black and white checkered upper wing, a black belly and face, and a white crown. They winter on the coasts of six continents including North America. They will forage by walking rapidly and stopping to look for prey in the ground. The black bellied plover nests in the wet and dry tundra of the high arctic where they lay 3-4 eggs in a scrape that is lined with lichen or moss. The adults incubate the nest for 23-27 days and once the chicks hatch they are able to walk and feed themselves within one day. These migrants often appear on Long Island in March and depart before their breeding season in May to June.