Black-bellied Plover Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
General Information
- Medium-sized, long-winged shorebird
- White wing stripe
- White rump
- Short, fairly thick, dark bill
- Legs black

Adult alternate
- Black face, throat, and breast
- White border to black face and throat
- Pale gray crown and nape
- Black and white spotted back and wings
- White belly and undertail coverts

Adult basic
- Medium gray upperparts with paler edging
- Pale gray breast
- White supercilium
- White underparts
- Black axillars visible in flight

- Similar to adult basic but upperparts have more
- Black and white spotted tertials
- Finely streaked breast
- White supercilium
- Black axillars visible in flight

Similar species
This plover is most similar to the Lesser, Greater, and Pacific Golden-Plovers. In alternate plumage, the Black-bellied Plover lacks the gold tones to the upperparts and has white undertail coverts.

In basic and juvenile plumages, the Black-bellied Plover is most distinctive in flight with its black axillars, white rump, and white wing stripe, all of which the golden-plovers lack. At rest, the Black-bellied is grayer with a thicker bill.
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