SCIENTIFIC NAME: Charadrius nivosus Linnaeus
OTHER NAMES: Beach Plover, Snowy Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover (Page 1995).
STATUS: Breeder. Uncommon to rare and local in all seasons in Gulf Coast region. HIGHEST CONSERVATION CONCERN.
DESCRIPTION: A small (15.0-17.0 cm [5.9-6.7 in.]) shorebird characterized by a thin dark bill, grayish or blackish feet and legs, pale gray upperparts, and white underparts. Adults have black side and breast patches, a black crown contrasting with a white forehead, and a dark auricular area; black not as dark in females. Nonbreeding adults and juveniles lack dark markings of breeding adults. Calls include a soft whistled ku-wheet and low kru (Page 1995, Marchant 1986). Six subspecies recognized. Two, the Cuban snowy plover (C. a. tenuirostris) and the western snowy plover (C. a. nivosus), are found in North America; the Cuban snowy plover is a permanent resident in Alabama.