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Snowy Plover

Silhouette PloversPlovers
Snowy PloverAnarhynchus nivosus
  • ORDER: Charadriiformes
  • FAMILY: Charadriidae

Basic Description

The dapper Snowy Plover scurries across sandy habitats as inconspicuously as a puff of sea foam blown by the wind. These pale brown shorebirds are highlighted with a black or brown partial collar and a short black bill. They are hardy survivors that forage for invertebrates on ocean beaches and in desolate salt flats and alkaline lakes. Snowy Plovers make nearly invisible nests on beaches, where they are easily disturbed by humans, dogs, and beach vehicles.

More ID Info
image of range map for Snowy Plover
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Look for Snowy Plovers year-round along the U.S. Pacific Coast or coastal South Texas, during winter on the Gulf Coast, or on inland breeding sites during summer. These tiny, sand-colored shorebirds easily disappear against their wide-open habitats, but they are restless foragers, so look carefully for their stop-and-go foraging pattern. They don't tend to chase waves the way Sanderlings do; look for them foraging a little higher up the beach.

Other Names

  • Chorlitejo Nivoso (Spanish)
  • Pluvier neigeux (French)
  • Cool Facts