Karl Overman: Birds and more


The bird in breeding/alternate plumage was one of two that Scott Jennex and I found on a sod farm in southern Sanilac County.  Since the late 1960s at least, sod farms have been an important venue for finding shorebirds in the fall in the Great Lakes area.  I always loved Al Maley’s advice on finding shorebirds in his booklet, A Guide to Bird Finding in Washtenaw County and Surrounding Areas 8 (1971):  “Look in the Yellow Pages under ‘sod’.”  In 2008 and especially 2009 sod farms became and endangered habitat given the economic downturn and especially and collapse of the housing market.  Most of the areas that had been sod were converted to corn or soybeans. By 2014, some but not all of the sod farms were back growing grass with the improvement in the real estate market.

Unlike both species of Golden-Plovers, Black-bellied Plovers are not a widespread breeder on the Seward Peninsula where I photographed the Nome bird.


Black-bellied Plover  (Pluvialis squatarola)

Modified August 27, 2019