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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Gray Plover Pluvialis squatarola

The gray plover is a long-distance migrant, one of the most widespread waders, that is found on coasts in every continent except Antarctica. In their breeding plumage, seen only in the Arctic tundra, male gray plovers have a black underside and face, but by the time they head south to winter on coasts, both sexes are a speckled gray. Gray plovers feed on insects in summer and on marine worms and crustaceans in winter.

Gray Ploverzoom image
  • Order Charadriiformes
  • Length 10–11 in (26–28 cm)
  • Weight 6–8 oz (170–240 g)
  • Habitat Arctic tundra, coasts, estuaries
  • Distribution Arctic (breeding); temperate and tropical coasts worldwide (non-breeding)
Gray Plover habitat mapzoom image