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of Robert D. Hughes

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IOS Photo Quizzes

Early Fall 2004 Photo Quiz

Early Fall 2004 Photo Quiz

Discussion

This looks like some kind of shorebird. The bill is short and rather thick and the body is plump, just right for a plover. The Charadrius or banded plovers lack the heavily spotted upperparts of our quiz bird. Spotted upperparts are however typical of the Pluvialis or tundra plovers, two of which, Black-bellied and American-Golden, occur regularly in Illinois. The undeparts of our quiz bird, especially the sides, look more streaked than barred, favoring Black-bellied Plover, but the overall color looks dark, favoring American-Golden Plover. An obscure but useful field mark for separating these two is the presence or absence of halluces (singular hallux) or hind toes. Among the Pluvialis plovers, only Black-bellied Plover has them, and the halluces can just be seen on our quiz bird. This Black-bellied Plover in fresh juvenile plumage was photographed at Montrose Beach in Chicago on September 19, 2001 by Kanae Hirabayashi.

Answer: Black-bellied Plover

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