Black-bellied Plover juveniles 11/3/18

There are three possible plumages of Black-bellied Plover one might see during fall migration in Maine—adults still in breeding plumage are common early in the season, sporting their eponymous black bellies. Later you can see adults molting or that have already molted into the soft grays of non-breeding plumage (in Europe this same bird is called the Gray Plover), but more often than not the Black-bellied Plovers you see in October and November are these spotted and very spangled juveniles. All plumages of Black-bellieds have large black armpits which are unmistakeable in flight or when stretching or lifting their wings. I waited quite awhile for one of these to oblige me but was not rewarded, And I’m not inclined to frighten birds for a photo. You might see the odd Black-bellied Plover during the winter months, their winter range on the Atlantic coast starts not far south of us on Cape Cod.

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