Diademed Sandpiper-Plover Phegornis mitchellii


The Diademed Plover (or Diademed Sandpiper-Plover) is characterized by its distinctive plumage pattern and by its thin decurved bill, which bears more than a strong resemblance to a typical sandpiper bill. Morphological analyses have confirmed, however, that despite outward appearances, this species is a plover and not a sandpiper. Regardless, its bill is highly atypical for the family and nothing is known about its structure or the distribution of touch-receptors. The Diademed Plover is resident in high elevation bogs in the Andes from central Peru south to south central Chile and Argentina. Its specific habitat requirements are poorly known and the species is often absent from bogs that appear, to the human eye, identical to bogs where the plover is present. The Diademed Plover forages solitarily or in loose pairs by vertically probing the soft bog substrates for invertebrates. It is very unobtrusive and usually takes some effort to see, but when flushed or startled, its behavior is characteristically un-plover-like, in that it will often hop and flutter about on the mossy cushions more like a passerine than any plover or shorebird.

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© J. Duncan MacDonald

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Diademed Sandpiper-Plover (Phegornis mitchellii), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/diaplo1