Monday, October 31, 2016


We have been on the Texas coast for a few days and are enjoying getting re-acquainted with the many shorebirds. Since we will be leading bird walks at Goose Island State Park for the next couple of months, we're making sure that we know all of their names.
Black-bellied Plover
One of the things we've run into when leading walks is different pronunciations of common bird names. We've had more than one participant insist that we're using an incorrect pronunciation when we understand that there is no single accepted way to say the name.

"Plover" is one example. There are several species of these plump little shorebirds that we'll see during our walks. Pronunciation seems about split between "Pluh-ver" and "Plo-ver".
Semipalmated Plover
We expect to see four different plover species on a regular basis. We'll identify them based on size (Black-bellied is much larger than the others), leg color (yellow/orange for Semipalmated and Piping, gray for Snowy), and back color (light gray for Snowy and Piping, darker brown for Semipalmated).
Piping Plover
But how to pronounce the names?? We've decided to go with "pluh-ver", and expect to hear about it!
Snowy Plover
So how about it birders? How do you pronounce "plover"??