American Game Birds

Illustrating More Than One Hundred Species In Natural Colors

By Chester A. Reed

Page 44

WILSON PLOVER (Ochthodromus wilsonius). This species differs from the " Ring-neck" most noticeably in the large size of the wholly black bill and the broader black band across the breast. It is also slightly larger, measuring a little under 8 in. in length.

     They breed along the South Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Virginia to Texas and casually wander to New England and also to southern California. Their notes are quite different from those of other closely allied species, the call note being more of a chirp than a whistle, and their notes of anger, delivered freely when one is in the vicinity of their nests, are excited chippering whistles. They match the color of their surrounding almost perfectly and, as might be expected, usually trust to their plumage to escape detection as they sit upon their eggs in slight depressions in the sand.


MOUNTAIN PLOVER (Podasocys montanus). These birds can be regarded as "mountain" only in that they are often found at high altitudes, but on arid plains they are often known as "Prairie Plover," a name that is in reality better suited to them, for they spend most of their time on the prairies picking up grasshoppers and other insects. In summer they are to be found distributed in scattered pairs, but in fall they unite in flocks of some size. They breed in western United States from Montana and Nebraska south to Texas and New Mexico and winter from the southwestern states through Mexico.


SURF BIRD (Aphriza virgata). This comparatively rare and little known bird, called the "Ploverbilled Turnstone" wanders along the Pacific coast from Alaska to Chile. Its nest and eggs have not as yet been definitely reported, but it is believed to breed in the interior of northwestern Alaska.