Despite its name, the mountain plover is not associated with mountains. In fact, this native Nebraska shorebird prefers flat, arid, short grass prairie, disturbed prairie or semi-desert habitats. Unlike most shorebirds, it spends most of its life avoiding the shoreline.
Mammals and reptiles are the primary predators that threaten plover nests and chicks.
Breeding strongholds for the mountain plover can be found in small areas of Montana and eastern Colorado. Most of the birds winter in California in an area with high rates of human population growth.
In Nebraska, the mountain plover is considered a state threatened species. As of mid-2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) was considering listing the mountain plover as endangered or threatened throughout its range.
After hatching, the precocial (highly independent) young are already able to run and catch their own food. Adults will lead chicks away from the nest scrape to seek spots of shade under tall vegetation or in the shadow of a stock tank.
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