Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 40(112): March/June 2008


The snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) is a small shorebird that breeds on unvegetated beaches along coastlines, rivers, and alkaline lakes. In North America, its breeding distribution extends along the coasts of California, Oregon, and southern Washington, where the population is listed as federally threatened (USFWS 1993), and an interior population occurs on wetlands in western and central states and central Mexico (Page et al. 1995). There have been rare breeding reports in Montana, Wyoming, and Saskatchewan (Page et al. 1995), but no documented breeding records in North Dakota or South Dakota. However, the United States Army Corps of Engineers reported a nest on the Nebraska side of Lewis and Clark Lake, a Missouri River reservoir between South Dakota and Nebraska in 1998 (Sharpe et al. 2001). We herein report the first records of snowy plover breeding in North Dakota and South Dakota.