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Birds of the St. Croix River Valley: Minnesota and Wisconsin

FAMILY CHARADRIIDAE

Plovers


Semiplamated Plover -- Piping Plover -- Killdeer -- American Golden Plover -- Black-bellied Plover

Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus)

Status: Regular migrant.

Migration: Fairly common migrant in the Western Upland and Central Plain, rare to absent in the Northern Highland. The first spring migrants arrive 25 April to 1 May (earliest-19 April 1976, St. Croix County). Peak abundance occurs 10-20 May and departure by 25 May. The first fall migrants arrive between 25 July and 1 August. Peak fall populations occur 20 August to 1 September and departure by 25 September.

Habitat: Most common on seasonally flooded wetlands. Uncommon on lakeshores and in short vegetation associated with semipermanently flooded wetlands.


Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)

Status: Accidental, two records.

Records: S. D. Robbins observed a single piping plover near Roberts, St. Croix County, from 3 to 15 May 1967 (Robbins 1968). S. V. Goddard found one on the same wetland on 12 May 1972 (Faanes and Goddard 1976).


Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species, casual in early winter.

Migration: Abundant migrant in the Western Upland and Central Plain, common and more local in the Northern Highland. Spring migrants arrive about 15 March (earliest-2 March 1961, Burnett County); peak abundance is 10-25 April. Fall migration begins about 10 August. Peak abundance occurs 1-15 September and departure by 1 November.

Nesting Season Distribution: Common nesting species in the Western Upland and Central Plain, uncommon to rare and local in the Northern Highland.

Winter: There are eight early winter records for an area in Washington County; the dates are from 15 to 30 December. S. D. Robbins observed one in St. Croix County on 16 January 1964.

Habitat: Killdeer use a variety of habitats ranging from cropland, summer fallow, pastures, shorelines, and lawns to flat-topped roofs in residential areas.


American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica)

Status: Regular migrant.

Migration: Fairly common spring and rare fall migrant in the Western Upland, locally common during spring migration at Crex Meadows, Burnett County. Rare to absent elsewhere. Spring migrants arrive 20-25 April. Peak abundance occurs 10-15 May and departure by 1 June. Fall migrants arrive about 20 August and have departed by 15 October (latest-2 November 1965, St. Croix County).

Habitat: Most commonly observed in temporarily flooded cornfields, alfalfa, or oat stubble, and are less common on mudflats and lakeshores. This plover uses habitat that is fairly dry and usually away from the edge of wetland basins.


Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)

Status: Regular migrant.

Migration: Uncommon migrant in the Western Upland and Central Plain. Locally common during spring at Crex Meadows, Burnett County, rare to absent in the Northern Highland. Spring migrants arrive about 5 May (earliest-15 April 1975, St. Croix County). Peak abundance occurs 15-20 May and departure by 1 June. Fall migrants arrive 10- 20 August. Peak abundance occurs 5-20 September and departure by 15 October (latest-3 November 1976, St. Croix County).

Habitat: Unlike the preceding species, the black-bellied plover commonly uses temporarily flooded wetlands. Less common on flooded alfalfa or oat stubble and along the edge of semipermanently flooded wetlands.


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