PLOVER (OF. !gorier, Fr. plurier, from AIL. piururias, plover, from Lat. Muria, rail), front pluerc, to rain; connected with Gk. rXEiv, Mein, Skt. plu, pro, to swim, and ultimately with Lith. pinsti, Lett. pindef, AS, ficosPoi, 0IIG.
Ger. jlies.sen, to flow•; so called because the bird appears during the rai ny season ) . AIinciceYiebird of the subfamily Charadriime. of the large shots(' bird family Charadriithe, having a bill somewhat like that of a pigeon, with a con vex horny terminal portion, bcluind which it is con tracted; the legs` not very long, naked a little above the tarsal joint ; the wings rather long and pointed. the first quill-feather the longest ; and usually only three toes. The spe cies arc about 61) in number, found in every quarter of the globe, and many are migra tory and of very wide range. They chiefly frequent low moist grounds, where they con gregate in flocks, and feed on worms, insects. and the like, and some of them are table deli cacies. The golden o• yellow plover (Charadrill8 liOntinieus) is 11 inches long, blackish, speckled with yellow at the tips and edges of the feath ers: the tlu•oat. breast, and belly black in sum mer, whitish in winter. It is a bird of passage in the United States, breeds in the far north, and winters in Central and South America,, going even as far as Patagonia. In the Eastern United States it is more in fall than in spring. It makes an artless nest, little more than a slight depression of the ground, and lays four eggs. The parent birds show great anxiety for the pro tec•tiot of their young, and use various strata gems to divert the attention of an enemy. The ge nus .Egialitis comprises the ringed plovers. mud] smaller birds. characterized by their dark neck bands. The ringed plover (.Egialitis hiutieulu) is found in Greenland and the Arctic regions of America, but is most abundant in the northerly parts of the Old World. It occurs at almost all seasons on sandy and shingly flats, from which the sea retires at ebb-title. it is often to be seen also on the banks of large rivers, lakes, and ponds. It is grayish-brown above, whitish beneath, with a collar of white round the neck, and below it a blaek—in winter. a brown—collar: the head marked with black and white; a white bar on the wing.
In the United States six species exist, all closely resembling the ringed plover. of which the semipalmated or 'ring-neck' (Egialitis semi palmata) is the American analogue. The largest and best known is the kildeer (q.v.). The pip ing plover (tEgialitis meloda ) is found along the Atlantic coast, and is notable for the musical quality of its notes. The snowy plover (-(Egiali tis nirosa) is a handsome species found in the southwestern United states. .111 of the ring plovers lay their three or four eggs in a depres sion in the ground; the eggs vary in color from creamy-white to olive-drab, heavily marked with blackish-brown. In the Western United States occurs the mountain plover (q.v.), which differs from the others in the absence of any black belt or on the neutral The 'beetle head' or blaek-bellied plover (('haradrius sguata rola) is a nearly cosmopolitan form, recognizable in any plumage by the small hind toe and the rounded settles on the front of the tarsus. It is nearly a foot long, and in full plumage is a very handsome bird, black and white contrasting in its plumage to make it notable. It breeds in the Arctic regions and winters in the tropics. The bird known to Ameriean sportsmen as the 'up land plover' is not a plover at all, but a sand piper (Bartramia longica //dal.
Several remarkable birds of this group belong in South America, Africa, and Australasia. One of these is the Egyptian 'spur-winged' plover (q.v.) : see also Cnocomt.E-Binn.) Another is the strange 'erook-billed plover' of New Zealand. (See WitYmur.,.) Closely allied to them are the European and Asiatic 'lapwings,' and the South American 'tern-tern' (q.v.) of the widespread genus Vanellus. Consult: Dresser, Birds of Eu rope (London, ISSI) Seebolim, Birds of Asia (ih_ 1SSS) ; Buller, Birds of Yew Zealand (2d ed., ib., 1SSS) ; Shelley, Birds of Egypt (ih_ 1S72) ; Sharpe and Hudson, A ryen tine Ornithol ogy (ib., 1SSS) ; Walsingham, "Shooting." in Badminton Library (ib., 1559) ; Elliot, Shore Birds of North America (New York, 1S95) : Lel fingwell, Shooting on Upland, Marsh, and Streain (Chicago. 1S90). See Plate of EGGS OF WATER AND GAME BIRDS: and Plate of PLOVERS.