I did some birding today along the Lake Michigan shoreline starting at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee heading south ending up at Myer’s Park in Racine. Overall quiet, with Myer’s Park being the hotspot with the 3 Black-bellied Plovers that have been reported. Other species present were Semipalmated Plovers and Sandpipers, a Sanderling, Least Sandpipers, few Caspian Terns and a Pectoral Sandpiper that took flight just as I entered the property. I hung around there for about 90 minutes, 4 hours later is the report of a Whimbrel by Jennifer! It was a beautiful day out birding with a light breeze, partly cloudy skies, and no rain. The Black-bellied Plovers keep their distance from you, not like some shorebirds that give nice closeup views. Images were taken on August 19, 2014.
Binomial name: Pluvialis squatarola
Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies
Size: 11.5” long, 29” wing span
Weight: 8 Oz.
Habitat: Breeding habitat is lowlands on dry Arctic tundra. They spend their winters on beaches and estuarine mudflats. They sometimes are found in flooded fields, agricultural lands, meadows near coasts or inland waters.
Diet: On their breeding grounds, main food source is insects. Their wintering habitat provides worms, bivalves and crustaceans.
Nesting: They prefer a raised area for nesting for good visibility. Nest is a shallow depression made by the male and finished by the female as her job is lining it with pebbles, grass, twigs, lichens and moss. 3-4 eggs are usually laid, one brood per season, both parents incubate them. Within 12 hours, the chicks are usually able to forage and both parents care for them.