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Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus)

Species Information

Name, Classification and Taxonomy 

Charadrius montanus Townsend.  Mountain Plover, Pluvier montagnard.

Description

The Mountain Plover is slightly smaller than the Killdeer and has the general body shape of that species.  Its coloration, however, is plainer than the Killdeer and all other North American plover species.  General plumage is sandy brown above and whitish washed with buff below.  Breeding adults also have a white forehead, black forecrown and a thin black eyelines and cannot be confused with any other species.  Non-breeding adults and juveniles are buffier below and lack the distinctive head markings of breeding adults.  In these plumages, Mountain Plovers superficially resemble Lesser Golden-Plovers, but Mountain Plovers lack light spotting on the upperparts and dark streaking on the underparts, characteristic of Lesser Golden-Plovers, and have prominent white wing stripes, absent in Lesser Golden-Plovers (Farrand, J. Jr. 1983).

The call note of the Mountain Plover, a low, harsh krrip, is unlike the call notes of other North American plovers.