This photo of a Black-bellied Plover in non-breeding plumage was taken at Bean Point on Anna Maria Island. Many of our island guest are not aware that periods of rest are important for these shorebirds. Children love to charge large groups of birds to make them flee, but this should be discouraged. It’s also important not to feed these birds. Dietary imbalances from human feeding can lead to problems like weak bones that easily break. The small photo image below shows the breeding plumage of this bird.
Shorebirds – A Plea to Our Island Guests
Our guests oft make the shorebirds flee;
The children laugh and jump with glee.
Please don’t do this; it is a harm
To send resting birds false alarm.
These birds must fly and hunt all day;
When not at work, they cannot play.
Like us they need their daily rest;
Just watching them is glee that’s best.
Black-bellied Plover (Non-breeding) – Pluvialis squatarola