Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Threatened in the Great Plains; endangered along California Coast; stable along Atlantic Coast, but is listed on New Jersey and Maine's threatened and endangered lists.
HABITAT: Inhabits river sandbars, inland islands, broad areas of sand or gravel beaches, and newly cleared land along the coast. Frequents salt plains in Oklahoma.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Open, sandy coastal beaches, and river sandbars for nesting.
NEST: Nests solitarily or in scattered colonies. Nests in scrapes (with little or no lining) in sand or gravel (gravel or pebble substrates are preferred) above ordinary tides. Shares habitat with piping plover in the Great Plains.
FOOD: Skims the surface of the water or hovers and dives for food, sometimes spears fish with closed bill. Eats sand eels, shrimp, and small fish.
REFERENCES: Bent 1921, Tompkins 1959, Johnsgard 1979, Terres 1980.