Galapagos Plovers Information

  • Category:
    Plovers
  • Family:
    Charadriidae

Six species of Plovers have been recorded in Galapagos: 2 migrants and 4 vagrants. Plovers are small to medium-sized, compact shorebirds with rather short necks; short, straight bills; and moderately long legs. They are readily told from other shorebirds by their behavior, which involves periods of fast walking or running with sudden stops.

The species recorded in Galapagos are from two distinct genera: the Charadrius plovers are small and characterized by the presence of breast-bands, whereas the Pluvialis plovers are medium-sized and show black bellies in breeding plumage (although in non-breeding plumage they are relatively uniform grey or brown).

 
Semi-palmated Plover

  • Scientific Name:
    Charadrius semipalmatus
  • Family:
    Charadriidae
  • Length:
    18 cm (7 in)
Semipalmated Plover in Galapagos

Fairly common migrant of Galapagos, most numerous from August to May, although present throughout the year. It occurs principally in the shore zone.

Identification:

A small plover, brown above with white collar, and white below with dark breast-band. Conspicuous white wing-bar in flight. ADULT BREDDING: Contrasting black and white head-pattern, black breast-band. Bill orange with black tip. ADULT NON-BREFDING: Black parts of breeding plumage replaced by dark brown and bill darker. JUVENILE: Similar to non-breeding adult, but with buff fringes to upper parts.

Voice:

A plaintive, rising "Chew-ee", accented on the second syllable.

Behavior:

Usually found on sandy shorelines, but occasionally occurs in the highlands beside freshwater pools.

 
Black-bellied (or Grey) Plover

  • Scientific Name:
    Pluvialis squatarola
  • Family:
    Charadriidae
  • Length:
    29 cm (11.4 in)
Black-Bellied Plover or Grey Plover

Regular migrant of Galapagos, recorded throughout the year and commonly seen during a Galapagos cruise. Occurs in small numbers, mostly on sandy beaches.

Identification:

A plump, medium-sized wader with short, stout bill. ADULT BREEDING: Under parts jet-black from face to belly, separated from spangled grey and silver upper parts by broad white stripe on side of neck. ADULT NON BREEDlNG / JUVENILE FIRST-WINTER: Grey-brown upper parts, spotted white (buffin juvenile); pale-brown under parts. Distinctive black 'armpits' in flight.

Voice:

Flight call is a loud, three-note whistle: "Pee-oo-wee".

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