Grey Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

The Grey Plover is a bird that is found along the coastline of all the continents, with the exception of Antarctica, at various times of the year. With a worldwide population estimated at around 750,000 birds, the IUCN considers it to be of least concern. They arrive in South Africa from their Siberian breeding grounds around September and depart again by April, with an estimated 9,000 birds being found along our entire coastline during that time. The Langebaan lagoon in the West Coast National Park is one of the best places to see this species in South Africa. Some, usually younger individuals, will stay here through the winter and don’t join the migration back to the northern hemisphere, as they don’t breed until they’re two years old.

Grey Plovers feed on aquatic invertebrates pecked from exposed mud flats and sand banks on beaches and around estuaries and lagoons. They may roost in large flocks outside the breeding season, but usually forage alone or in pairs. Adults are about 29cm long and weigh around 230g.



17 thoughts on “Grey Plover

  1. sustainabilitea

    Such soft beauty and attractive markings, Dries. We’re catching up with the Vancouver 7’s tournament after a wet and wild (and disappointing) one in LA. All that and then Six Nations again this coming weekend. 🙂 Hope all’s well with all of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lois

    Well, WP just said my comment could not be posted. Trying again…
    Here in Florida, we have snowy plovers and they are a state-designated threatened species. Signs are posted on the beaches during their nesting season, too. Such a sweet little bird.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. DeWetsWild Post author

      The various kinds of birds nesting on the beaches is one the main reasons for 4×4 driving being prohibited on almost all local beaches. Is that one of the measures employed in Florida too, Lois?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lois

        Driving on the beach is illegal in most parts of Florida, Dries. Only three counties allow it and they are across the state from me. Most beaches are trying to preserve the dunes and vehicular traffic would be a nightmare.
        We have signs posted to reduce your speed, and we have beach patrols during nesting season. All the motels/street lights have been changed to low-glow lights, mostly for the nesting turtles.

        Liked by 1 person

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