This is a Kentish plover video from Denmark.
Are US And European Plovers Really Birds Of A Feather?
(Nov. 2, 2009) — The Kentish-Snowy Plover, a small shorebird found in the US and Europe, is suffering from an identity crisis after scientists at the Universities of Bath and Sheffield found genetic evidence that the populations are, in fact, separate species.
Historically, biologists have classified the Kentish Plover, found in Europe, and its look-a-like, the Snowy Plover, from the US, as being different varieties from the same species due to their similar looks.
Whilst their true identity has been long debated by biologists, this is the first time that scientists have found proof that the birds actually belong to different species.
These new findings could prove important in the conservation of the Snowy Plovers, which are listed as threatened.
The scientists from the Universities of Bath and Sheffield analysed the DNA of 166 birds from two different American populations of Snowy Plover, four Eurasian populations of Kentish Plover, and one African population of a closely related species, the White-fronted Plover.
They found that the European birds were more similar to their African cousins than to their relatives in America, indicating that the bird population split and colonised America, where they became Snowy Plovers, before splitting again to produce Kentish and White-fronted plovers.
Dr Clemens Küpper, from the University of Bath’s Department of Biology & Biochemistry, explained: “Scientists have suspected for some time that these birds are from different species.
“Although they look similar, for them to have stayed as a single species they would have had to be able to breed with each other, but this wasn’t possible because they were separated by thousands of miles of water!
“For the first time we’ve shown that these birds have been separated for a long time and evolved in different directions.”
This video from the USA is called A Snowy Plover at Oso Flaco in California.
This video is called African Black Oystercatcher with White-fronted Plover, Point Recife, South Africa.