Collared Plover (Charadrius collaris)

The Collared Plover (Charadrius collaris) is commonly found throughout the year in Mexico, Northern Argentina and central Chile, with a few being recorded in Guatemala. They are both coastal and inland birds, and frequent beaches, wetland areas, rivers and even ponds. Adult Collared Plovers are white on their bellies, with a black band across their chests. Male Collared Plovers have white on their foreheads with chestnut coloring on their midcrown and nape. Their legs are yellow in color and in flight, plumages are dark featuring a white wing bar. The females look very similar to their male counterparts, except for having a brown tinge to their black feathers.

These coastal and inland birds are extremely wary and are generally loners, very rarely being seen in flocks. They have a unique manner of scavenging for food, which is referred to as a run-and-pause technique. Most wader groups will use probing to find the insects and invertebrates, but the Plover prefers to keep moving, only stopping at intervals at the sight of movement. Nests are either built in the ground just above the tide line, or more inland. Female Collared Plovers lay two to four eggs at a time that are cream in color and have brown blotches. The males will engage in ground displays, to catch the eye of a suitable partner. Collared Plovers do not change plumage during or between breeding seasons.

As research has shown that the number of individual Collared Plovers is estimated at approximately 10,000, there is no cause for concern in regard to the conservation of the species. Due to the minimal decline in the population over ten years, these birds are not expected to reach the threshold of extinction any time soon. Conservationists are constantly monitoring the populations, but it is safe to say that these fast running birds will be seen along the shores for many years.