the Tweet Life

Author: Share:
Black-bellied plover

Black-bellied plover

Pluvialis squatarola

This monochrome shorebird, clothed in striking black-and-white plumage, models haute couture against the dramatic backdrop of crashing waves along Siesta Key’s Turtle Beach.

A bold checkerboard graphic splashed across its wings and a stylish white cap cascading from brow to shoulder complete the plover’s breeding plumage ensemble.

During the rest of the year, the plover’s understated non-breeding attire subtly blends into the beach with dull, earthy-gray tones. The black-bellied plover’s stocky build and hardy constitution enable it to migrate thousands of miles to summer breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra. In autumn, it migrates across North America back to Siesta Key like so many other snow birds.

The plover would make a formidable opponent in the imaginary iron-bird triathlon consisting of running, swimming, and flying. This feathered triathlete runs tirelessly (never walking) while hunting for food; is a capable swimmer in open water; and owns the title of the fastest flying shorebird — approaching speeds of 60 mph. Not bad for a stylish bird weighing about 6 ounces and measuring just 10 to 12 inches from tip to tail!

Black-bellied plover
Siesta Sand
Author: Siesta Sand

Previous Article

The bird is her word

Next Article

More concerns arise as another hotel faces public scrutiny