The mountain plover is a rather curiously-named bird that you certainly won’t find in the mountains. Rather, this small bird inhabits the high central plains of North America from Montana to New Mexico.
If its name wasn’t confusing enough, its family history certainly is. The mountain plover is a member of the Charadriidae family, a group of shorebirds that occur all over the world; however, the mountain plover lives about as far away from the ocean as is possible.
The mountain plover is a little smaller than an American robin, and is an insectivore that forages the ground for a variety of small prey. Mountain plovers prefer a short grass prairie habitat, but will make use of prairie dog towns to provide breeding habitat in tallgrass prairie areas if necessary. Though not considered endangered, these birds are classified as near threatened by the IUCN.