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. Plovers and Lapwings(Order: Charadriiformes, Family:Charadriidae). Juvenile Semipalmated Plover. Semipalmated Plovers have a shorter bill and yellow legs while Wilson's Plovers have a longer bill and pale legs. Photo: Gail Bisson/Audubon Photography Awards. In the end it vanished. 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. Royalty-Free Stock Photo. Sparad av Stephanie L. 3 The semipalmated plover is a small plover. Semipalmated Plover. Tail pattern: usually not described in the literature, I find this feature slightly more reliable than the wing bar. Typically there are two main facial patterns: one in which the dark cheek patch merges with the dark lore line, forming a sharp angle; and the other in which the cheek patch directly touches the bill, but only the upper mandible, forming a small vertical white band surrounding the gape. Download preview. It was the lone bird on the beach, and I was the lone person there, so it was a fun solo session with this active plover. Download preview. Guillermo Rodríguez. Juvenile Common Ringed Plover, September 2015, Spain. Juvenile Semipalmated Plover. Guillermo Rodríguez. The key identification features for juveniles, such as the bill shape and the presence of white in the gape, are widely known and well described in several papers and field guides - so nothing new here - but I thought it would be interesting to take a detailed look at the variability of these characters for an identification refresher! In such surroundings, its seemingly bold pattern actually helps to make the plover inconspicuous, by breaking up its outline against the varied background. These are likely the most “difficult” birds I've seen during the 2016 autumn migration in the States, out of several hundred birds studied. One of the very few shorebirds I photographed during this year's fall migration, but at least it was very cooperative! The number of birds in which the eyering looks dirty or darkish (and thus similar to the brightest eyerings of Common Ringed) is low. Roughly, the semipalmation between the middle and inner toes is very obvious in around 50-60% of birds. Homepage header image by © Juan Sagardia | About & ID Galleries pages header image by © Marcel Gil Velasco | Blog page header image by © Guillermo Rodríguez. Guillermo Rodríguez. Charadrius semipalmatus . (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 . Semipalmated Plover Juvenile. The name "semipalmated" refers to partial webbing between the bird's toes. For more pictures of juvenile Semipalmated Plovers, please visit the special ID Gallery here. The bird was defending a feeding area close to … Keep in mind that these are all juveniles! It is important to bear in mind that rarely Common Ringed does show a similar white gape, as Dani explained in this brilliant Birding Frontiers post a couple of years ago: Variability in gape pattern in juvenile Semipalmated Plover. Orbital ring: this is another feature which is quite consistent and shows limited overlap with Common Ringed. 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. Variability of the orbital ring colour in juvenile Semipalmated Plover. The Semipalmated Plover (C. semipalmatus) has been the subject of an 18-year population study near Churchill, Manitoba. Often appears stocky with no neck. 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. The plate below depicts birds with minimal, moderate, and obvious semipalmations, respectively, from left to right. Juvenile Semipalmated Plover. Short bill with orange base and black tip. Juvenile Semipalmated Plover. Therefore, I'd say that the combination of white gape, consistent eyering and stout bill applies to the vast majority of birds, and it’s very rare that the three characters are lacking on the same individual. However, this feature is usually unnecessary, as pretty much every time you see the bird spread its tail it has also called! In both species the innermost pair of rectrices is dark and the outermost is white, with increasingly large white tips from r2 to r5. Juvenile Semipalmated Plover by Daniel Cadieux on 500px. It derives from Ancient Greek kharadrios a bird found in ravines and river valleys. This is a bird with a very long bill, limited white in gape and bulky structure. Attached Images . Nature, small. This small shorebird breeds in open gravel, tundra, beaches, and riverbeds throughout the sub-arctic regions of North America (Nol and Blanken 1999). This was a juvenile COMMON RINGED PLOVER. Guillermo Rodríguez. This is one of the most Common Ringed-like Semipalmated Plovers I've seen; the size and shape of the bill, pronounced and blackish breast band, and apparently dark gape are all quite reminiscent of Common Ringed, and likewise, the eyering is likely within the species’ range of variation. Semipalmation: contrary to what the literature usually states, I find this character quite variable and perhaps even overlapping somewhat with Common Ringed - or at least, in some birds the difference cannot be assessed in field conditions. Tail pattern in juvenile Semipalmated Plover. Pablo Gutierrez. This last Common Ringed is partially reminiscent of Semipalmated, with its delicate structure, stout bill, and marked upperparts. It does present other typical features such as a bright orbital ring, red at the base of the bill reaching the bottom of the upper mandible, a uniform breast band roughly concolorous with the back, and a typical pattern to the upperparts. Most Semipalmateds present a fine but obvious yellow orbital ring, which usually looks bright in direct sunlight. Chicks also swim short distances … Juvenile Semipalmated Plover, October 2016, Massachusetts. 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. Wing bar: the wing bar is known to be a supporting character, with Common Ringed showing broader and longer white bars than Semipalmated. On its breeding grounds in the north, it avoids the tundra habitat chosen by most shorebirds, nesting instead on gravel bars along rivers or ponds. However, the dark gape, lack of yellow eyering, and the blackish, broken and less dense/diffusely barred breast band easily clinch the ID. This little freshie was taken back a month ago just after a the remnants of a hurricane tore through the area. Examples of extension of the semipalmation in juvenile Semipalmated Plover. Typically the difference is found on the inner primaries, where the bar is narrower in Semipalmated. This is one of the most Common Ringed-like Semipalmated Plovers I've seen; the size and shape of the bill, pronounced and blackish breast band, and apparently dark gape are all quite reminiscent of Common Ringed, and likewise, the eyering is likely within the species’ range of variation. Thanks for taking the time! The oldest recorded Semipalmated Plover was at least 9 years, 2 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Massachusetts. Semipalmated Plover Juvenile. The bird was defending a feeding area close to where I was set up. Let's start with a couple of classic juvenile Semipalmated Plovers to illustrate the typical features. This bird completely lacks white in the gape, and the bill is relatively slender and longish. The semipalmated plover is a small plover. Bird 3. The Semipalmated Plover (C. semipalmatus) has been the subject of an 18-year population study near Churchill, Manitoba. 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. The genus name Charadrius is a Late Latin word for a yellowish bird mentioned in the fourth-century Vulgate. 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. In many Common Ringed, the feather tips in the band show some whitish fringes, leading to a kind of diffuse pale barring, and the dark-white transition at the centre of the breast (where the band is broken) is more diffuse.
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