Today is Plover Appreciation Day – a day to celebrate plovers the world over and raise awareness about the lives and life struggles of this engaging family of shorebirds.
Globally, there are (at present) 68 species of plover, and with the exceptions of the Sahara Desert and the frigid polar regions, they range across the entire planet. Though diverse in location, they favor similar habitats, frequenting open areas like shorelines, mudflats, grasslands, and tundra where they forage for prey on the surface.
Plovers are typically round or tapered oval in appearance (heavier in front than in back), with shorter legs and bills than sandpipers. They also feed by sight rather than feel, another distinction from their shorebird cousins.
Like most shorebirds, plovers worldwide are at risk due to habitat loss, climate change, and conflicts with humans (who like to recreate in the same areas they nest). Conservation organizations around the world are working to increase awareness about the needs of these wonderful birds and ultimately help reduce human-animal conflicts.
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