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Black-Bellied Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

The Black-Bellied Plover breeds in the farther north than any other plover, and is the largest of all plovers. To meet these birds on their breeding grounds, one would have to travel to the northern limits of the Asian or North American Continents, though some of their population summer along the Bering Sea in Alaska.

It is commonly found wintering along the coast of the lower 48 states in the USA, but is at home on all continents except Antarctica. Black-Bellied Plovers do not breed until they are two years old. In Southern California, and many places where these birds spend winters, non-breeding birds may be found year-round.

Outside of North America, this bird is called the Gray Plover. Believing that large plovers flocked during rain, early science gave them the name of their genus Pluvialis, from the Latin word pluvia, meaning “rain”.

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