Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Least Concern

Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus)


French: Pluvier semipalmé German: Amerikanischer Sandregenpfeifer Spanish: Chorlitejo semipalmeado

Charadrius semipalmatus


, 1825,

coast of New Jersey, USA


Probably closely related to C. hiaticula, with which in past sometimes considered conspecific; some hybridization on Baffin I (NE Canada). Monotypic.


Aleutian Is (W to Adak)#R, Alaska and N Canada E to Newfoundland, S to C British Columbia and S Nova Scotia. Winters on coasts of North and South America, from California to N Chile and from S Virginia to Patagonia; also Bermuda, West Indies, Galapagos Is.

Descriptive notes

17–19 cm; 28–73 g; wingspan 43–52 cm. Closely resembles C. hiaticula, but slightly smaller and less robust, with narrower breastband and smaller... read more


Most-frequently heard call, usually given in flight, a clear whistled “kli-weeet” (c. 0·3 seconds... read more


Freshwater and salt mudflats, intertidal mudflats and beaches, flat open margins of ponds, lakes... read more

Food and feeding

Primarily polychaete worms; also small gastropods, inarticulata, small crustaceans and insects, such as grasshoppers, beetles and ants.... read more


Lays early May to early Jul, depending on latitude and related to snow clearance, with older females tending to nest earlier. Solitary or... read more


Migratory. Winters on coasts of South and North America and all larger islands in the general zone... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Total population probably numbers c.13,200–120,000 breeding pairs based on densities of 11–100 breeding pairs/10 km... read more

Recommended citation

Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 January 2020).