Friday, September 11, 2015

More Shorebird Look-A-Likes

I was lucky to find three semipalmated plovers this week along the Catawba River near Belmont. Plovers are small to mid-sized shorebirds. The semipalmated is one of the smaller species. The birds i encountered were immatures, much like the bird pictured below.

Immature Semipalmated Plover by Jeff Lewis

In breeding plumage, the adults are more boldly marked with a solid black neckband. They superficially resemble the killdeer, another larger plover that is common in the Piedmont pretty much year-round. Adult spring semipalmated plovers are shown immediately below.

Adult Semipalmated Plovers by Taylor Piephoff

Killdeer, shown below, are about twice as large. they have two bold neckbands and are extremely noisy most of the time, especially when startled or when birders get too close. The seem to alert other birds in the area to potential danger by their racket.

Killdeer by Ron Clark