There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Black-bellied Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

Medium-sized shorebird
Short, thick black bill
Short neck
Dark legs
Dark wing tips
Winter adult:
    Gray head 
    White underparts
    Gray, mottled back
Breeding plumage:
    Black from face to belly 

Listen to its call. 

I saw a group of these birds on the rocks at Clover Point yesterday afternoon. They were bigger than the Dunlin feeding close by. The tide was low and they were having quite a feast until three Black Oystercatchers came along and frightened them all away.

No wonder I had difficulty identifying this bird.  There wasn't a black-belly to be seen.  However, in breeding plumage (pictured below), it is black from the face to the belly. 

Learn more about the Black-bellied Plover. 

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