Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



“First Discovery of a Four-Egg Clutch for Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus) in Nebraska” from Nebraska Bird Review (December 2011) 79(4).


Copyright 2011 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


On 27 May 2010, the first documented Mountain Plover nest in Nebraska to contain a clutch of four eggs was documented in a fallow strip of a dryland crop field in southern Kimball County. Mountain Plover typically have a clutch size of 3 eggs, though clutches with 1 and 2 eggs are observed in approximately 15% of nesting attempts (Knopf and Wunder 2006). Clutches with 4 eggs are rare and have been reported to occur in less than 1% of the population (Knopf and Wunder 2006). Five 4-egg clutches have been reported in Colorado and one in Montana (see Knopf and Wunder 2006 for details), but this was the first 4-egg clutch reported in Nebraska, and it was located after 11 years of intensive study in which a total of 598 Mountain Plover nests were located.