These are likely the most “difficult” birds I've seen during the 2016 autumn migration in the States, out of several hundred birds studied. Juvenile Common Ringed Plover, September 2015, Spain. Bill: personally I find this feature quite variable, although it's true that most birds present a stout, short bill, with a broad base, which often creates a concave upper contour to the bill. The Semipalmated Plover (C. semipalmatus) has been the subject of an 18-year population study near Churchill, Manitoba. Keep in mind that these are all juveniles! Variability of the orbital ring colour in juvenile Semipalmated Plover. The reduced and dirty white on the gape, all black bill and Common Ringed-like breast band make this individual slightly confusing, but the presence of the eyering and the bill shape are quite diagnostic. Juvenile Semipalmated Plover by Daniel Cadieux on 500px. Miguel Angel Serrano Rubio. The semipalmated plover is a small plover. Feeds on mudflats and beaches, often mixed with other shorebirds. Breast band: this is another highly variable character, as shown below, with many birds showing a very fine band or simply a narrow line in the middle of the breast, and others showing an unbroken broad band of uniform width or even a band with two deep rounded patches on each side of the breast, similar to Common Ringed. This is a bird with a very long bill, limited white in gape and bulky structure. Juvenile Semipalmated Plover. Royalty-Free Stock Photo. Guillermo Rodríguez. The bird was defending a feeding area close to … Pablo Gutierrez. The oldest recorded Semipalmated Plover was at least 9 years, 2 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Massachusetts. The genus name Charadrius is a Late Latin word for a yellowish bird mentioned in the fourth-century Vulgate. This bird completely lacks white in the gape, and the bill is relatively slender and longish. Plovers and Lapwings(Order: Charadriiformes, Family:Charadriidae). This small shorebird breeds in open gravel, tundra, beaches, and riverbeds throughout the sub-arctic regions of North America (Nol and Blanken 1999). Post originally published in Birding Frontiers. Attached Images . Examples of extension of the semipalmation in juvenile Semipalmated Plover. On average there is a difference, but the overlap seems to be considerable (especially with some Common Ringed that showing short bars). Juvenile Semipalmated Plover. In the compilation below I show some examples of the darkest end of the range of variation. Roughly, the semipalmation between the middle and inner toes is very obvious in around 50-60% of birds. (CRPL) The juvenile Semipalmated Plovers (SEPL) in comparison were like little wind up toys with cute little rounded heads, like teenage plovers not fully developed physically . Similar looking birds to Semipalmated Plover: Piping Plover Breeding adult, Piping Plover Juvenile, Piping Plover Adult, Wilson's Plover Breeding adult, Snowy Plover Nonbreeding adult, Snowy Plover Breeding adult General coloration: most records of Common Ringed Plover in the States highlight how pale they are above compared to Semipalmated. Charadrius semipalmatus . It’s time to take a closer look at a few examples of birds in which some of the features are (at least partially) missing: Bird 1. Instead of shape, I'd highlight two different aspects of the breast band: (I) the colour, which is always brownish in Semipalmated, and is often concolorous with the back, only rarely showing the really blackish tones that are common in Common Ringed; and (II) the “density”, as in Semipalmated the band is uniformly densely coloured and the dark-white transition is sharp, creating a well-defined band contour. Juvenile Semipalmated Plover. Practically all Semipalmateds present some white in the gape; however, in around 15% of birds the amount of white is limited or can look dirty, so that it isn't very obvious and often requires a close inspection. At times i was cursing myself for selling the 300mm as these little guys were getting so close and i had no extension tubes to stack on my 500mm. Often appears stocky with no neck. (CRPL) The juvenile Semipalmated Plovers (SEPL) in comparison were like little wind up toys with cute little rounded heads, like teenage plovers not fully developed physically. The most common of the small plovers on migration through most areas. It derives from Ancient Greek kharadrios a bird found in ravines and river valleys. Juvenile Semipalmated Plover. Guillermo Rodríguez. In such surroundings, its seemingly bold pattern actually helps to make the plover inconspicuous, by breaking up its outline against the varied background. Even when in a flock, individuals are typically spread out rather than remaining in a tight unit. Most Semipalmateds present a fine but obvious yellow orbital ring, which usually looks bright in direct sunlight. The proportion of birds with an orangish to reddish patch at the bill base is very high, c.90%, and in many birds the patch extends to the bottom of the upper mandible. Semipalmated Plover Juvenile. Bird 2. Bottom right shows a Common Ringed Plover. Orbital ring: this is another feature which is quite consistent and shows limited overlap with Common Ringed. The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Semipalmated Plover is arguably one of the rarest shorebirds in Europe, although it has been suggested that its rarity is partly due to the challenge of separating it from Common Ringed Plover. A small dark shorebird with a single band across its chest, the Semipalmated Plover is the most common plover seen on migration in most areas. In Common Ringed, the increase in white on the feather tip from r1 outwards looks more gradual. Let's start with a couple of classic juvenile Semipalmated Plovers to illustrate the typical features. Short bill with orange base and black tip. The bird was defending a feeding area close to where I was set up. However, this feature is usually unnecessary, as pretty much every time you see the bird spread its tail it has also called! Juvenile Semipalmated Plover Challenge. The name "semipalmated" refers to partial webbing between the bird's toes. But with other individuals, I have had a hard time finding the semipalmation even when observing from only a few meters away, since they show just a minute piece of skin, very similar to the hint of semipalmation that some Common  Ringed show.