photo copyright and courtesy of Terje Kolaas
|Genus||Species||subspecies||Breeding Range||Breeding Range 2||Non Breeding Range|
|Charadrius||montanus||NA||c||sw USA, n Mexico|
In nondescript winter plumage, it may be told from winter Golden-Plovers by its grayer back (devoid of mottling), pale legs, light wing stripe, and dark tail band.
Listen to the sound of Mountain Plover
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
|wingspan min.:||45||cm||wingspan max.:||50||cm|
|size min.:||21||cm||size max.:||23||cm|
|incubation min.:||28||days||incubation max.:||31||days|
|fledging min.:||33||days||fledging max.:||34||days|
Favors areas of very short grass, even bare soil. Typically far from water. Nests mostly in short-grass prairie, including overgrazed pasture and very arid plains. In some areas, nests mainly on the rather barren open ground found in large prairie dog to
wns. Winter habitats include desert flats, plowed fields.
Site is on flat open ground. On featureless plain, nest often placed close to some conspicuous object, such as a pile of cow manure. Nest is shallow scrape in soil. Nest lining (including pebbles, grass, chips of manure) added mostly during incubation.
Eggs: 3, sometimes 2, rarely 1-4. Olive-buff with black marks. Incubation is by one or both sexes, 28-31 days. On very hot days, adult will stand over eggs, shading them.
Young: Downy young leave nest soon after hatching; are tended by one or both parents, but feed themselves. Adults shade young on hot days. Young can fly well at about 33-34 days.
Behavior: Forages by walking on ground, picking up items from surface. Typically stands still for a few seconds, scanning ground, then runs forward a short distance to peck at insects on ground.
Hunting probably explains the long-term decline. More recently, cultivation and urbanisation have reduced nesting habitat, and intensive grazing has resulted in desertification and a reduced prey base. Large declines in grazing species, especially bison and prairie dogs, have resulted in unsuitable habitat succession. Over 70% of nests on cultivated land are destroyed by farm machinery.
Most apparently migrate southwest from breeding grounds; some go straight south to Texas, northern Mexico. Very rarely strays to eastern United States, mostly in fall and winter.