Wilson's Plover

Wilson's Plover by George Payne
© George Payne
Charadrius wilsonia
The Wilson's, or Thick-billed Plover as it has sometimes been called, is a permanent resident in Louisiana, common in summer, extremely scarce in winter. In this state it is almost entirely a bird of the seabeaches although it has occasionally been known to appear a short distance inland along tidal estuaries or along the spoil banks of waterways. We usually find it feeding on the front beaches in the intertidal zone or around ponds formed by high tides washing over the natural levee of the shore's edge. The nest, which is only a depression in the sand with maybe a few broken shells in it, is placed from several yards to as much as 100 feet or so back from the water, but always well above normal high tides.
The uninterrupted broad band across the chest of the Wilson's Plover is jet black in the male, dusky in the female. In those respects it resembles the Semipalmated Plover, but it may be distinguished from the later by its flesh-colored legs and longer and much heavier bill that is solid black; the Semipalmated Plover has a small bill that is orange at the base and black only on the tip.--George H. Lowery, Jr., 1974, Louisiana Birds

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