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Wilson's Plover - BirdForum Opus

Photo by NIGHTJAR1
New Providence, Bahamas, June 2005
Charadrius wilsonia


16·5–20 cm (5½-7¾ in)

  • Upper parts mostly dark grey
  • Short white wing bar
  • White tail sides
  • White underparts apart from breast band
  • Legs are pink, brighter when breeding
  • Bill is dark (larger and heavier than similar-sized plovers)

Breeding male

Photo by mali
Beaufort, North Carolina, USA, August 2016
  • Black breast band, lores and forecrown
  • Rufous mask

Female and non-breeding male are similar but have brown or rufous backs. Non-breeding birds have a greyer tinge on the head and breast band
Immature birds: similar to the female, however the breast band is not always complete


North, Central and South America
Breeds on both coasts of North America. The range includes much of the eastern coast, and the west coast of Mexico. A partial migrant. Some birds winter in Florida, the rest move south to Brazil and Peru



There are 4 subspecies1:

  • C. w. wilsonia :
  • C. w. beldingi:
  • C. w. cinnamominus:
  • C. w. crassirostris
  • Coastal north-eastern Brazil (Amapá to Bahia)

An additional subspecies rufinucha is not recognized by all authorities1


Sandbars and sandy beaches.



They move slowly when feeding. The diet consists mostly of crabs, insects and marine worms.


The nest is a bare scrape


The call is a high weak whistle.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2016)
  3. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links