Plovers and Lapwings
The family Charadriidae includes 16 species found in North America.
Oystercatchers. The oystercatchers occur mainly on beaches, mudflats and rocky seashores; some species also forage or nest in meadows or by inland lakes. Their distribution is worldwide in temperate and tropical regions. Oystercatchers are large waders with black-and-white or completely black plumage; sexes alike. Food is mainly mollusks, crustaceans, annelid worms and insects. The strong bill has tactile cells in the tip and is used to open mussels, dislodge limpets from intertidal rocks or probe for food on sandy or muddy shores. Nest is a scrape on the ground. Eggs 2-4, yellowish-buff with brown or black markings; both sexes incubate about 26-27 days. The chicks run as soon as they are dry and are fed by the parents for 6 weeks.
Stilts and Avocets occur over much of the world in temperate and tropical regions, usually in wet habitats -- marshes, mudflats, lakes, streams, flooded fields. They are long-legged, long-necked, long-billed waders; 29-48 cm in length. Avocets have a slender, upcurved bill and feed on insects and other invertebrates by sweeping their bill from side-to-side through shallow water. Stilts have a straight, slender bill. The red legs of stilts are exceptionally long in proportion to their body size. Avocets nest in colonies near water; open nests are placed on grass, sand, mud or in shallow water and may be unlined or lined with dead plants. Clutch usually 4. Eggs buff or brownish with black and gray markings; incubation by both sexes 23-25 days; asynchronous hatching; downy young cared for by both adults; fledging at 35-42 days. Age at first breeding 2 or 3 years. Stilts nest in colonies near or in shallow water; nests of mud and plants or in grass clumps with little nest material; eggs 3-4, pale buff-brown with black and gray markings; incubation 22-25 days by both sexes, hatching synchronous; young precocial and nidifugous, cared for by both parents, but feed themselves. Fledge in 28-32 days; independent 2-4 weeks after fledging. Age at first breeding 2 years.
Plovers and Lapwings are mainly terrestrial waders that occur worldwide, except in Antarctica. Plumage colors are mainly brown, white, gray, olive and black, often with a white nape band, black breast band or bands and a dark tail band. Sexes are alike or nearly so. Food is mainly animals taken from the surface of wet sand, mud or grass; forage by repeated short runs with pauses to peck at prey; may use 'foot-trembling' to startle prey into movement. Nests are scrapes with little or no lining, in the open or in thin vegetation. Clutch 2-5 eggs; eggs cryptically-colored with buff, brown or gray marked with black. In monogamous species both parents incubate eggs and care for young. Incubation period 3-4 weeks; chicks are downy; fledging after 3 weeks in small species or 5-6 weeks in large species. Tropical plovers may cool and wet the eggs with water carried in their belly feathers. Age at maturity 1 year in small species, 2-3 years in large species.
Common Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover
Plovers- Patuxent Bird ID Center