Common Ringed Plover

(Charadrius hiaticula)

South Beach, Chatham, Massachusetts: 11 September, 2010

The following images are of a juvenile Common Ringed Plover present on South Beach, Chatham, MA on 11 September 2010. All images were taken with a Canon 40D and Canon 300mm lens w/1.4X teleconverter.

Blair Nikula

The back right bird in the first photo is the Ringed Plover.  In contrast to the Semipalmated Plovers (which in these images are all adults, so not in a directly comparable plumage), note the paler, grayer dorsal coloration, the thinner bill at the base, the more extensive black in the gape area (though there is a bit of white just above the base of the bill), the broad white supercilium that flares behind the eye, the lack of a yellow orbital ring, and the broad, but broken breast band.

In flight, the white wing-stripe is broader than is typical for a Semipalmated Plover.

Here's a very fresh and very pale juvenile Semipalmated Plover that was very similar in appearance to the ringed plover, but note the bill is thicker at the base (and in this individual there is some orange color at the base, though that's just individual variation), the white supercilium is less well-defined, there is white extending above the gape, and the mask is not as dark and less extensive, giving the face a less contrasty appearance than the Common Ringed Plover. In the field, at very close range, a thin yellowish orbital ring was apparent, though it is tough to see in this image (perhaps because the eye is partially shut).