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Semipalmated Plover

These plovers are common across most of North America.

Semipalmated Plovers breed in the arctic and winter along all coasts of the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean, so they migrate a relatively long distance each year.  Individual Semipalmated Plovers often follow the same migratory route each year, and even use the same stopover sites.

Male Semipalmated Plovers take a significant role in the nesting process each year, from choosing the nest site to incubating the eggs to brooding the young chicks. The adult plovers usually migrate south in the fall several weeks before the young birds migrate for the first time.


Description of the Semipalmated Plover


The Semipalmated Plover is a small, yellow-legged plover, with a short yellow and black bill, brown upperparts, white underparts, a white collar, a black forehead with white patch below, and a single black breast band.  Length: 7 in.

Semipalmated Plover

Photograph © Greg Lavaty.


Sexes similar.

Seasonal change in appearance

Nonbreeding birds have reduced black on the head.


Juveniles resemble nonbreeding adults.


Semipalmated Plovers inhabit shorelines and tidal flats, preferring sand or gravel tundra riverbanks on which to nest.

Semipalmated Plover

Photograph © Greg Lavaty.


Semipalmated Plovers eat insects, worms, and crustaceans.


Semipalmated Plovers use their large eyes to locate food, running and pausing repeatedly to scan for prey.


Semipalmated Plovers breed in Alaska and northern Canada and winter along the Pacific, Gulf, and Atlantic Coasts as well as points south. They migrate through most of the U.S. and Canada. The population is stable.

More information:

Bent Life History

Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Semipalmated Plover.


Fun Facts

The incomplete webbing between its toes is the source of the name “semipalmated.”

The Semipalmated Plover is the most common of the small plovers, and the most likely to be seen during migration across most of the U.S.


The typical call is a short whistle.


Similar Species

Killdeers have a double breast band.

Piping Plover
Piping Plovers are much paler.

Snowy Plover
Snowy Plovers are much paler.


The Semipalmated Plover’s nest is a shallow scrape in gravel or sand.

Number: Usually lay 4 eggs.
Color: Olive or buff with darker markings.

Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 23-25 days and leave the nest soon after hatching, but cannot fly for about 1 month.


Bent Life History of the Semipalmated Plover

Published by the Smithsonian Institution between the 1920s and the 1950s, the Bent life history series of monographs provide an often colorful description of the birds of North America. Arthur Cleveland Bent was the lead author for the series. The Bent series is a great resource and often includes quotes from early American Ornithologists, including Audubon, Townsend, Wilson, Sutton and many others.

Bent Life History for the Semipalmated Plover – the common name and sub-species reflect the nomenclature in use at the time the description was written.


HABITSContributed by Charles Wendell Townsend

This charming little wader, familiarly known as ring-necked plover or ringneck, is, during migrations, an abundant frequenter of our seashores as well as of the shores of lakes and rivers. But it was not as abundant in the latter part of the last century and in the beginning of this, for, as William Brewster (1925) says: “Both ringnecks and peeps began to diminish appreciably in numbers soon after 1890, and have since continued to do so, no doubt because of the ever-multiplying gunners.” Fortunately the Federal law for migratory birds, passed in 1913 and extended to Canada in 1916, enforced by the enabling act in 1918, has since protected the ringneck at all times, and he has responded markedly. Flocks of several hundred are now common where flocks of 30 or 40 were becoming rare. Their confiding nature and handsome plumage make them most interesting and attractive.

Spring: Like most of the shore birds, the semipalmated plover seems to be in a great hurry to visit the breeding grounds. While, in the region of Massachusetts he leisurely wends his way southward from about July 12 to the end of October, a period of four months, the spring flight rarely lasts little longer than a month, from May 7 to June 14. Wells W. Cooke (1912) says: “At least fourfifths of the dates on the spring migration of this species fall in May. This is true for the entire district between the winter and summer homes, and the dates indicate that the migration in the United States occurs chiefly between May 10 and June 1.”

Migration occurs both by day and by night. Flock after flock may be seen on favorable days flying north along a beach, and the distinctive calls of the bird may be heard at night I have recognized them clearly on a foggy May night when the birds were passing over the city of Boston. There are also records of the striking of lighthouses by these plover during the night.

It is evident that late migrants flying north in the spring must be late in returning, if they rear families, while those that return early in July must have been the early ones to migrate north. On July 30, 1918, I saw three semipalmated plover flying north along the shore at Ipswich. They were in full cry, and I wondered whether they were very late spring migrants or early autumn migrants temporarily turning back, or sterile birds that had no interest in the breeding grounds.

Courtship: In the latter part of May and early in June on the southern Labrador coast I have seen this brid flying about in circles uttering its loud and rapidly repeated courtship song. The song, which is entirely unlike the call note, may be heard, and the courtship performance watched, not only in the spring but in the autumn migrations, for there is a recrudescence of the amatory instinct at this season in most birds. The song, if such it may be called, is then generally given from the ground and may be likened to a whinny or to the sound of a bouncing ball. The notes are at first slowly repeated, but the speed increases until the notes folloxv one another so rapidly that they nearly run together. The birds that utter this song crouch loxv with tails spread and slightly cocked, wings partly open, and feathers, particularly of the breast and flanks, puffed out. Sometimes one walks in this way around another, sometimes two face each other, crouched motionless and then spring at each other and up into the air like fighting cocks. Sometimes one runs after another which, on taking flight is followed by the first, but the most amusing form of this courtship is where two, thus flattened, spread, and puffed, walk slowly side by side as if they were doing a cakewalk, all the time uttering their clucking song.

S. Swarth communicates the following notes regarding courtship seen in northwestern British Columbia: ‘~On as late a date as June 25 a male bird was seen going through with the mating antics, following the female about with head lowered and breast puffed out to an absurd degree, uttering frequently a low call note.”

Nesting: A mere depression in the, sand without lining or with only a few bits of shells or grass generally constitutes the nest of this species. P. B. Philipp (1925), writing of his experience in the Magdalens, says: “A nest as such is not constructed. A shallow hollow is scratehed in the sand, and this is lined with bits of dead eel-grass, or a hollow is scratched in a bunch of dead seaweed.” H. S. Swarth sends the following notes of his experience with the nesting of this bird in the Atlin region of northwestern British Columbia:

A pair or two are pretty sure to be found where favorable conditions exist, but as the species requires an expanse of sandy or gravelly beach and as such beaches are not the rule about the lakes of the region, there are long stretches of shore line where the plovers are not found. They avoid rocky or stony beaches that are so favored by the spotted sandpipers.

He found his first nest, an unusual one, on the shore of Lake Atlin on June 10, and thus describes it:

The nest” was in hard-packed gravel in a hole about 1 inch deep and with practically vertical sides. This depression was nearly filled with small chips and a very few straws. The eggs were nearly perpendicular in the nest, points down. It must have been some little labor for the bird to make this excavation, for the gravel was hard enough to retain the shape of the hole throughout the rest of the summer. I returned to the spot in September and found the cavity still sharply defined.

Audubon (1840) says of his experience in Labrador that this plover forms no nest, but makes a “cavity in the moss, in a place sheltered from the north winds and exposed to the full rays of the sun, usually near the margins of small ponds formed by the melting of the snow, and surrounded by short grass.”

Eggs: [Author’s NOTE: The semipalmated plover lays four eggs, often only three. They are ovate pyriform to subpyriform in shape, with little or no gloss. The ground colors vary from “buckthorn brown” or “clay color” to “cartridge buff,” “olive buff” or “pale olive buff.” They are boldly and irregularly marked with small or large ~pots or blotches of black, brownish black or very dark browns; some eggs are heavily blotched with “warm sepia” or “chestnut brown”; there are usually a few small underlying spots of “pale drab gray.” The measurements of 100 eggs average 33 by 23.5 millimeters; the eggs showing the four extremes measure 36.2 by 24.3, 35.5 by 25.5 and 29.5 by 22 millimeters.]

Yaung.: The duration of incubation is not known. In the allied ringed plover of Europe the period of incubation is stated by Dr. W. H. Bergtold (1917) to be 22 and 23 days.

In the past it has generally been assumed that, with the exception in the case of the phalaropes, the female among the shore birds incubates the eggs and takes charge of the young. Joseph Dixon (1927) says: “After several seasons~ experience with breeding shore birds in the north the writer has come to believe that in more of our Limicolae than is generally known it is a common practice for the males to take a leading part in domestic duties not only in incubation but also in the care and training of the downy young.” With specimens in hand during the breeding season, he found incubating patches in the male semipalmated plover, and he says that “the males did a large part of the incubation and that it was the males that were the most fearless in the face of danger when caring for their young.”

P. B. Philipp (1925), on the other hand, studying the nesting bird in the Magdalens, writes: “I judge that t.he female does most of the incubating, three birds shot off the nest being of this sex.” II. S. Swarth also sustains the side of the female, for he writes: “With binoculars it is often possible to distinguish the sexes of the plovers, and it could be seen that it was the male who tired first in such efforts [shamminor injuiïy] to deflect danger from the nest. Even when he withdrew entirely, the female continued her protests until we were well out of her territory.” Dr. L. B. Bishop (1900), however, reconciles both points of view, for he says: “Bare pectoral spaces showed that both sexes assisted in incubation.”

The young leave the nest and run after the parents almost as soon as they are hatched. Bishop (1900) in the Yukon River region found an egg that was already pipped. He says: “I removed the young bird from the shell, and within half an hour the down was almost dry, the eyes were open, and it could hop about on its ‘knees.'”

Dr. W. H. Osgood (1909) reports the following observation by N. Hollister on a downy young of this species: “Although it was perfectly able to run about as fast as the adults, it at once lay flat to the ground when approached, with head extended foreward in the sand, making it very difficult to see, so closely did it match the ground in color.”

The actions of the parent incubating the eggs when a human intruder appears is well told by H. S. Swarth in a communication, as follows:

The breeding bird skulked from the nest at th? first appearance of an intruder, and, after performing an unobtrusive retreat to a distant point, launched out in conspicuous protest at the trespass. The call notes served to summon the mate, and sometimes even another pair of birds, all hovering about overhead or racing close by over the sand. A liquid call note, not particularly loud, was uttered constantly, and both birds of a pair would go through the form of pretended Injury, dragging themselves over the sand with drooping wings and spread tail.

In another case:

A bird was flushed, as it had been many times before, at a point 300 yards or more above the water line, and I sat down quietly to watch her from the shelter of a scrubby willow. She flew to a distance, but returned in a few minutes, to run aimlessly about over the gravel nearby. Gradually she drew away, running over and between logs and other drift, her manner changing from one of noisy protest to furtive withdrawal behind any available cover. Finally, about 20 minutes after I began to watch, she settled down on the gravel, as It developed, upon the eggs.

At Seal Island, off the southern point of Nova Scotia, I found several breeding pairs of semipalmated plover, here, probably, at its most southern breeding place. On one occasion I came upon a bird that performed the usual wounded bird act, falling on its side and fluttering its wings as if badly injured. Presently it made off, fluttering and dragging its spread tail on the ground, keeping up this method of progression for over a hundred yards, although I had stood still. I then walked in the opposite direction and found a downy young running off in company with the other parent.

On another occasion at Great Caribou Island, Labrador, one of these birds appeared greatly excited at my presence, alighting near me, bobbing nervously, and protesting in conversational tones. Then it flew away, but immediately returned and flew by several times within a few yards, apparently in great fury, but not daring to hit me.

Plumages: [Author’s NOTE: In natal down the young semiplamated plover is darkly colored above. The entire upper parts, from forehead to rump, are mottled with “deep olive buff’~ and black. The auriculars and a broad band encircling the back of the head are velvety black; there is a distinct black stripe from the bill to the eye and from the lores to the auriculars. A spot under the eye, a ring around the neck, and the entire underparts are pure white. In fresh juvenal plumage the crown, back, rump, scapulars, and wing coverts are “buffy brown,” narrowly edged with creamy or buffy white, the edgings broadest on the wing coverts; the lores, cheeks, and a broad band across the chest are “huffy brown” to “sepia”; the forehead, throat, a ring around the neck, and the entire underparts are white; the tail is like the adult, but tipped with “pinkish buff.” The huffy edgings mostly wear away before the partial postjuvenal molt, which occurs in late fall. The first winter plumage is like the adult winter plumage, except that some of the juvenal wing coverts are retained and the head is as in the juvenal. At the next molt, a partial prenuptial, the plumage becomes practically adult; only a few old wing coverts remain.

Adults have a partial prenuptial molt in the spring involving the body plumage, some scapulars and wing coverts, and a complete postnuptial molt from July to December; I have seen the wings molted as early as July 30 and as late as December 10. The sexes are alike in immature and winter plumage and not very different in spring, when the black markings of the female are duller or mixed with grayish brown. In both sexes in winter the black markings are replaced by grayish brown.]

Food: The semipalmated plover is an active feeder and in this way is sometimes beneficial to man. In the stomachs of 12 birds shot on beaches I have found worms, small mollusks (Litorinci, Mytells), various crustaceans (Orekestia, Gananuzrus, Lintnoricz), and insects.

W. L. McAtee (1911) says that this bird eats the larvae of the salt marsh mosquito (tEdes sollicrtan.s). Samuel Aughey (1878) investigated the relation of birds to insects in Nebraska during the great invasion of Rocky Mountain migratory locusts on the western prairies and plains of the United States from 1873 to 1876. Of 11 stomachs of this species examined, he found the average number of locusts in each was 38; of other insects, 19. Junius Henderson (1927) states that this plover “on coast, feeds largely on crustaceans, mollusks, eggs of marine animals, and insects; interior, feeds on locusts and other Orthoptera, and many other insects.” Audubon (1840) says: “At this period (September) they are now and then observed on plowed lands, where they appear to procure different species of seeds and insects.”

Behavior: The behavior of this bird during courtship and in the care of the eggs and young has already been described. On beaches and mud flats it is sometimes difficult to see, notwithstanding its strikingly marked plumage. As the piping plover matches the dry sand, so the semipalmated plover matches the wet sand, its favorite feeding grounds. Here one may walk almost onto them without seeing them if they stand motionless, as they often do. While sleeping on the dry sand, even with the black and white markings in plain sight, they are also difficult to see. W. V. Praeger (1891) writes as follows of a wounded bird he observed hiding in a hollow in the sand:

While admiring the perfect blending of its brown shades with the surroundings I saw in its white rings one of the commonest objects of the seashore: the empty half of a bivalve shell. The white about the base of the bill was the “hinge,” the collar the outer rim, and the top of the head the cavity of the shell filled: as they usually are: with sand.

Gerald H. Thayer (1909), writing of the very similar ringed plover of Europe, speaks of the “eye-masking and ‘obliterative’ shadowand-hole-picturing pattern.”

Although this bird migrates and feeds both by day and night, it often happens that a flock is discovered at sunset out of reach of the tide, clustered together as if they had settled down for the night. That they spend the night there in some cases at least is shown by William Brewster (1925), who says: “I have repeatedly observed them standing motionless, singly or in clustering groups, on some mud bar to which they had thus returned, keeping them in view until it was too dark to see them longer and finding them all there the next morning.”

During high tide, when their best feeding grounds are covered, these birds, like many other shore birds, are very apt to be found sleeping on the upper beach above the reach of the waves. The flock is generally huddled closely together, some standing but many squatting with their breasts resting on the sand, often in the lee of bunches of seaweeed. While some sleep with heads turned to one side and bills thrust into the feathers of the back in the usual manner of birds, others sleep with heads sunk down between the shoulders. Generally some of the flock are awake and on the lookout, while the others open their eyes from time to time.

In flight the flocks are often compact, twisting and turning as if animated by a single thought, but they also fly in loose order. On alighting they at once spread out on the sand in true plover fashion, and do not, like sandpipers, keep together and move along close to the wave line. Another plover habit which at once distinguishes them from sanderlings or other sandpipers of a similar size, is that of running about with heads up and dabbing suddenly at the ground from time to time instead of moving along with heads down diligently probing the sand. With erect figures they run about in various directions, often pausing and standing still as if in thought, occasionally jerking or bobbing their heads and necks and ever and again swiftly dabbing at some morsel of food.

The semipalmated plover associates most frequently with the least and semipalmated sandpipers, but it also flies with sanderlings and other larger waders. Sometimes these birds fly in mixed flocks, but as a rule the ringuecks keep by themselves in flight, but readily join other species on the ground.

On the seacoast the ringneck frequents the outer beaches, the shores and mud flats of estuaries and tidals poois, and the sloughs in the salt marshes. Inland it visits similar regions on the shores of lakes and rivers as well as upland fields in search of food. As I have said elsewhere (C. W. Townsend, 1905)

Like all shore birds also, the ringneck is often exceedingly fat in the autumn, and I have known the fat of the breast to split open when the bird struck the ground after being shot when flying at a height. The fat is not only everywhere under the skin, but it develops nil the viscera, and the liver is often pale from fatty Infiltration. How birds under these circumstances are able to fly so vigorously on their long migrations, or even to fly at all, is certainly a mystery.

Voice: The courtship song has already been described. The common call note is a clear, rather plaintive, whistle of two notes, very distinctive and frequently emitted while the birds are on the wing. It is expressed by Hoffmann (1904) by the syllables chee-wee; Nichols (1920) writes it tyoo-eep. It is cheerful and businesslike compared with the sweet and mournful whistle of the piping plover. When calling to others as they alight, or when standing on the sand, they often emit a single note, sweet and clear, but at times harsh and rasping.

Field marks: The semipalmated plover is easily distinguished in the field from the killdeer by its smaller size, its single neck ring, and by the absence of the rufous color on the rump. Its darker colors distinguish it from the piping plover. From the sandpipers, even at a distance on the sand, it is distinguished most readily by its plover behavior, as already described. In flying they show a faint white line on the wings which contrasts with the general brown of the upper parts. The neck ring is noticeable both in the flying and walking bird, and the orange yellow of the tarsi and base of the bill can be made out with glasses. In the young, which arrive on the Massachusetts coast about a month behind their elders in the autumn migration, the ring is gray instead of glossy black, and the tarsi are pale yellow. It may be distinguished from the Wilson’s plover by the fact that that bird has a much longer bill, wholly black.

Game: Although this little plover was formerly shot as game in the same manner as is described under the least and semipalmated sandpipers, it is now protected at all seasons. Besides its value as a destroyer of harmful insects, its greatest value is aesthetic. On the beaches of the sea and lakes its graceful flight, handsome plumage, and confiding ways are a source of great pleasure, and on this account alone it is worthy of protection for all time.

Fall: The fall migration, as stated above, is a long and leisurely one, differing markedly in this respect from the spring migration. When a favorable spot is found, abounding in food and free from disturbances, these birds are apt to tarry there for some time. Here they grow fat and here they indulge in courtship performances as if it were the spring of the year. On beaches and marshes, where in former times gunners, hidden in blinds, were lurking to destroy them, all is now peace and quiet for these little birds, and their journey southward is undisturbed.

Of the fall migration Wells W. Cooke (1912) writes:

At one of the most southern breeding places near York Factory, Keewatin, In 1900, the most advanced young were still in the downy stage July 10 (Preble), and yet by this time the species is already in full fall migration, and the earliest individuals have appeared several hundred miles south of the breeding range. * * * Though most semipalmated plover migrate early, a few stay until freezing weather.

The adults migrate first, while the young rarely arrive on the Massachusetts coast before August 15.

Winter: Although the majority of the species xvinter south of the United States, as is shown under “winter range,” some are to be found at this season on the shores of the Southern and Gulf States earning their living in pursuit of their small prey.

Range: North and South America.

Breeding range: The breeding range of the semipalmated plover extends north to Alaska (Morzhovia Bay, Hooper Bay, and the Colville delta); northern Mackenzie (Mackenzie delta, Lower Anderson River, Franklin Bay, Horton River, and Bernard Harbor); Keewatin (Whale Point); Franklin (Annanostook and Kingnite Fjord); Victoria Land; Baffin Island; and western Greenland (Disco). East to western Greenland (Disco); Labrador (Port Burwell, Okak, and Tessiujaksoak); Newfoundland (Straits of Belle Isle); eastern Quebec (Upper Hamilton River, Wapitagun Island, Magdalen Islands, and Mingan Islands); and Nova Scotia (Sable Island). South to Nova Scotia (Sable Island and Yarmouth County); probably rarely New Brunswick (Grand Manan); northern Ontario (Moose Factory) ; Manitoba (Hayes River and Fort Churchill); southern Mackenzie (Artillery Lake); Yukon (Lake Marsh); and British Columbia (Graham Island). West to British Columbia (Graham Island); and Alaska (Berg Bay, Glacier Bay, and Morzhovia Bay).

In common with several other shore birds, nonbreeders remain throughout the summer in southern latitudes. At this season they have been taken or observed south to Venezuela (Margarita Island), Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, the West Indies, and Jalisco (OcotIan), while they frequently are fairly common on the coasts of the United States and at points in the interior, Ohio (Lakeside and Oberlin), and Michigan (Detroit).

Kumlien and Hollister report obtaining young not yet able to fly at Lake Koshkonong, Wis., but if their identification was correct, this record must be considered accidental. The species also has been reported in summer from eastern Siberia (East Cape), where it may breed.

Winter range: The winter range extends north to California (rarely Palo Alto); Texas (Brownsville and Corpus Christi); Louisiana (State Game Preserve); Mississippi (Biloxi) ; probably Alabama (Coffee Island); South Carolina (Dewees Island); and Bermuda (Somerset). East to Bermuda (Somerset); South Carolina (Port Royal); Georgia (Savannah, Blackbeard Island, and Darien); Florida (Amelia Island, Mayport, Daytona, Mosquito Inlet, Upper Metacumbe Key, and Key West); the Bahama Islands (Abaco, New Providence, Watling Island, and Great Inagua); Haiti (Monte Cristi, and Samana); Porto Rico; the Lesser Antilles (Anegada, Sombrero Key, St. Bartholomew, Carriacou, and Trinidad); Guiana (Abary River and Cayenne); Brazil (Island of Mixiana, Cajetuba Island, Pernambuco, Bahia, Abroihos Island, Peranagua, and Santa Catarina); and Argentina (Puerto Deseado). South to Argentina (Puerto Deseado and Jujuy); and Chile (Calbuco). West to Chile (Calbuco, Coquimbo, and Moreno Bay); Peru (Chorillos, Ancon, Trujillo, and Payta); Ecuador (Puna Island, Guayaquil, and Santa Elena); Galapagos Islands (Albemarle and Narboro) ; Costa Rica; Honduras (Manatee Lagoon) ; Guatemala (Chiapam); Oaxaca (San Mateo); Sinaloa (Mazatlan); Lower California (La Paz); and California (San Diego, San Pedro, Saticoy, Pacific Grove, and rarely Palo Alto).

Spring Migration: Early dates of spring arrival are: Virginia, Arlington Beach, April 30; District of Columbia, Washington, May 3; Pennsylvania, Wayne, May 5, and Erie, May 8; New Jersey, Cape May, April 24, Camden, May 5, and Long Beach, May 10; New York, Long Island, April 19, Orient, May 2, Geneva, May 5, and Rochester, May 16; Connecticut, New Haven, May 1, and Fairfield, May 4; Rhode Island, Newport, April 15; Massachusetts, Rehoboth, April 21, Monomoy Island, April 28, and Dennis, May 5; Maine, Saco, Ma.y 5; Quebec, Quebec City, May 6, Montreal, May 19, Godbout, May 28, Eskimo Point, June 3, and Fort Chimo, June 11; Nova Scotia, Pictou, May 9, and Antigonish, May 15; Franklin, Winter Island, May 31; Missouri, St. Louis, April 2, and Kahoka, April 4; Illinois, Rantoul, April 9, near Chicago, April 25, and Cantine, April 26; Indiana, Denver, May 1, Terre Haute, May 5, and Bloomington, May 9; Ohio, Sandusky, April 20, Cleveland, April 21, and Oberlin, April 24; Michigan, Ann Arbor, May 5, Jackson, May 8, and Grand Rapids, May 9; Ontario, Toronto, April 21, Hamilton, April 24, Ottawa, May 9, and Guciph, May 15; Iowa, Sioux City, April 22, Ogden, April 24, and Emmetsburg, April. 27; Wisconsin, Madison, May 5; Minnesota, Heron Lake, May 8, and Minneapolis, May 11; Kansas, Lawrence, April 22, Emporia, April 25, and McPherson, May 3; Nebraska, Lincoln, April 27; South Dakota, Vermilion, April 20, and Brookings, May 8; Manitoba, Brandon, April 28, and Reaburn, May 9; Saskatchewan, Lake Johnston, May 10; Mackenzie, Fort Simpson, May 16, and Fort Resolution, May 23; Alberta, Veteran, April 24, Camrose, May 6, Tofield, May 12, Peace River, May 20, and Fort Chipewyan, May 23; northern California, Eureka, April 17; Nevada, Smoky Creek, May 4; Washington. Destruction Island, April 24. and Grays Harbor, April 30; British Columbia, IJcluelet, April 28, and Comox, May 3; Yukon, Forty-mile, May 23; and Alaska, Admiralty Island, May 8, Bethel, May 10, Bristol Bay, May 15, Coronation Island, May 15, and Hooper Bay, May 19.

Late dates of spring departure are: Brazil, Cajetuba Island, April 18; Colombia, Sabanilla, March 27; Porto Rico, Luquillo, March 5, and Vieques Island, March 30; Haiti, Samana, April 13; Bahamas, Abaco, April 28, and Green Cay, April 29; Florida, Daytona Beach, May 25, Punta Rassa, May 25, and Pensacola, May 30; Georgia, Savannah, May 13; South Carolina, Kiawah Island, June 2, and Bulls Bay, June 7; North Carolina, Pea and Bodie Islands, May 17; Cape Hatteras, May 20, and Raleigh, May 22; Virginia. Cape Charles, May 24, Smiths Island, May 25, and Wallops Island, May 30; District of Columbia, Alexander Island, May 22, and Washington, May 25; Maryland, Patapsco Marsh, May 29; Pennsylvania, State College, May 30, Wayne, June 1, and Erie, June 2; New Jersey, Cape May County, May 23, Elizabeth, ~Iay 30, and Camden, June 1; New York, Canandaigua, June 7, Geneva, June 9, Orient, June 10, and New York City, June 14; Connecticut, New Haven, June 1, and Fairfield, June 8; Massachusetts, Lynn, June 5, Harvard, June 9; and Dennis, June 10; Maine, Portland, June 3; Louisiana, Lobdell, May 18; Missouri, St. Joseph, May 13, and Corning, May 18; Illinois, Chicago, May 29, Morgan Park, May 30, and Rantoul, June 2; Indiana, Lake County, May 27; Ohio, Columbus, May 28, Oberlin, May 29, and Lakeside, June 2; Michigan, Detroit, May 30, Sault Ste. Marie, May 31; Ontario, Ottawa, May 31, Hamilton, June 3, and Toronto, June 6; Iowa, Emmetsburg, May 20, and Sioux City, May 30; Wisconsin, Shiocton, May 28, and Madison, May 30; Minnesota, Lanesboro, May 23, Hallock, May 29, and Minneapolis, June 4; Texas, Corpus Christi, May 18; Kansas, Lawrence, May 18; Nebraska, Lincoln, May 20; South Dakota, Vermilion, May 19, DelI Rapids, May 22; and Forestburg, May 27; Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg, June 7, and Shoal Lake, June 12; Lower California, San Geronimo Island, April 13, Cerros Island, April 17, and Gardenei~s Lagoon, April 24; California, San Diego, April 23, Alameda, May 14, Fresno, May 15, and Santa Barbara, May 22; Washington, Tacoma, May 18; and British Columbia, Indian Cove, May 29.

Fall Migration: Early dates of arrival in the fall are; British Columbia, Nootka Sound, July 23, Tahsis Canal, July 26, and Okanagan Landing, July 28; Washington, The Olyinpiades, July 16; California, Alameda, July 8, and Santa Barbara, July 12; Lower California, Santa Rosalia Bay, August 16, and San Jose del Cabo, August 23; Saskatchewan, Big Stick Lake, July 19, and Cochrane Rivev, July 23; Manitoba, Red Deer River, July 22. Lake Winnepegos is, July 22, and Oak Lake, July 28; North Dakota, Kenmare, July 18; South Dakota, Forestburg, July 27, Nebraska, Lincoln, August 9; Texas, Tivoli, September 2; Minnesota, Minneapolis, July 17; Iowa, Sioux City, August 5, and Marshalitown, August 10; Ontario, Toronto, July 22, Coldstream, July 29, and Brighton, July 31; Michigan, Charity Island, July 25, Jackson, July 25, and Detroit., July 31; Ohio, Bay Point, July 3, Oberlin, July 6, Cedar Point, July 8, and Lakeside, July 17; Indiana, Bass Lake, August 1; Illinois, Chicago, July 22, and La Grange, August 7; Missouri, St. Louis, August 20; Mississippi, Beauvoir, July 22; Louisiana, Bayou Chene, August 29; Maine, Portland, July 18, and Squirrel Island, July 31; Massachusetts, Lynn, July 18; Marthas Vineyard, July 20, and Harvard, July 26; Rhode Island, South Auburn, July 23, and Block Island, July 25; Connecticut, New Haven, July 30; New York, Long Beach, July 3, Orient, July 6, and Brockport, July 28; New Jersey, Long Beach, July 19, Brigantine Beach, July 25, and Elizabeth, July 31; North Carolina, Myrtle Sound, July 10; South Carolina, Frogmore, July 20, and Charleston, July 21; Florida, Palma Sola, July 10, Daytona Beach, July 19, and Pensacola, July 26; Bermuda, August 12; the Bahama Islands, Long Island, July 17; Cuba, Batabono, August 26; Lesser Antilles, Grenada, August 24, and Dominica, August 29; Panama, Toro Point, July 23; Brazil, Santa Catarina, August 4; and Colombia, Santa Marta region, September 13. Late dates of fall departure are: British Columbia, Chilliwack, August 23, Atlin, August 24, and Okanagan Landing, September 3; Mackenzie, Fort Simpson, September 1, and Fort Resolution, September 1; Saskatchewan, Indian Head, September 2; Manitoba, Shoal Lake, September 14, Aweme, September 14, and Oak Lake, September 20; Nebraska, Lincoln, October 14; Minnesota, Lanesboro, September 15; Iowa, Emmetsburg, September 24, and Grinnell, October 22; Ontario, Toronto, October 26, and Point Pelee, October 29; Michigan, Portage Lake, October 25, and Detroit, October 29; Ohio, Oberlin, October 21, and Youngstown, November 2; Indiana, Hobart, September 24, and Peru, October 2; Illinois, Rantoul, October 15, and Chicago, October 28; Kentucky, Lexington, September 17; Missouri, St. Louis, September 25; Prince Edward Island, North River, October 27; Nova Scotia, Wolfville, October 22; New Brunswick, Scotch Lake, September 23; Quebec, Montreal, October 20; Maine, Lewiston, October 13; Massachusetts, Lynn, October 12, Cambridge, October 26, and Dennis, October 27; Connecticut, Fairfield, October 22, Norwalk, October 26, and New Haven, October 31; New York, East Hampton, October 22, Port Chester, October 25, and Long Beach, October 28; New Jersey, Sandy Rook, October 25; and Pennsylvania, Erie, November 2.

Casual records: The semipalmated plover is more or less rare in the southern Rocky Mountain region where records are so few that it can be considered only as casual. Among these records are: Utah, Salt Lake City (reported by Nelson); Colorado, Denver, April 27, 1907, Loveland, May 6, 1890, and Grand Lake, Middle Park (Carter Collection) ; and Arizona, Fort Verde, September 8, 1884, Colorado River, September and October, 1865 (Coues), and Tucson, April, 1883 (Scott).

Egg dates: Labrador and Ungava: 42 records, June 7 to July 7; 21 records, June 18 to July 1. Quebec to Nova Scotia: 33 records, June 5 to 29; 17 records, June 15 to 23. Arctic coast of Canada: 18 records, June 16 to July 20; 9 records, June 23 to July 4. Alaska and British Columbia; 19 records, May 27 to July 6; 10 records, June 1 to 9.

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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