It’s a little known fact that there is a group of shorebirds that live and migrate only between Central and South America. They are called Endemic Neotropical Shorebirds. The Neotropics contains 27 endemic shorebird species, and two endemic families, the Seed-snipes (Thinocoridae) and the monospecific family of the Magellanic Plover (Pluvianellidae). Unlike Neartic migratory shorebirds, the Neotropical shorebirds are little known, since many live in remote and inaccessible areas.

In this first part of this post I will talk about 13 of these 27 shorebirds and in the second part I will write about the rest.

Peruvian Thick-knee (Burhinus superciliaris)

Distribution: Ecuador, Peru, Chile; mainly in desert scrub and agricultural areas of coastal lowlands.

Conservation status: Least Concern

Peruvian Thick-knee kookr

Peruvian Thick-knee ©David Cook

Pied Lapwing (Hoploxypterus cayanus)

Distribution: East of the Andes in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia; on sandy beaches throughout Amazonian lowlands.

Conservation status: Least Concern

Pied Lapwing Arthur Chapman

Pied Lapwing ©Arthur Chapman

Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis)

Distribution: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and recently spreading into Central America; in lake and river banks or open grassland except in densely forested areas.

Conservation status: Least Concern

Southern Lapwing barloventomagico

 Southern Lapwing

Andean Lapwing (Vanellus resplendens)

Distribution: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Chile and Argentina; mainly between 3000-4600m in open grassy marshes, edges of lakes and bogs, and dry fields.

Conservation status: Least Concern

Andean Lapwing pattymcgann

Andean Lapwing ©Patty McGann 

Puna Plover (Charadrius alticola)

Distribution: Andes from Central Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, mainly between 3800-4500m, along shores of high elevation lakes, rare non-breeding visitor (May-August) to coast from Lima to the south.

Conservation status: Least Concern

Two-banded Plover (Charadrius falklandicus)

Distribution: Breeds in Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). Part of the population migrates north in winter with some birds reaching Uruguay and southern Brazil; in lakes, saline marshes, rocky shores and sandy shores.

Conservation status: Least Concern

Two-banded Plover crookrw

 Two-banded Plover

Rufous-chested Dotterel (Charadrius modestus)

Distribution: Breeds in the southern parts of Argentina and Chile and on the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). Some birds migrate north in winter, reaching as far as Uruguay, southern Brazil and occasionally Peru; temperate grassland, mudflats, estuaries and sandy shores.

Conservation status: Least Concern

Rufous-chested Dotterel man with noname

Rufous-chested Dotterel

Rufous-chested Dotterel pablo caceres c II

Rufous-chested Dotterel ©Pablo Caceres Contreras

Diademed Sandpiper-Plover (Phegornis mitchellii)

Distribution: Andes of Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina; in bogs and at edges of streams and small lakes at high elevations 4100-5000 m.

Conservation status: Near Threatened

Diademed Sandpiper Plover rgibbo3

Diademed Sandpiper-Plover ©Richard Gibbons

Tawny-throated Dotterel (Oreopholus ruficollis)

Distribution: Breeds in the Andes in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru. Non-breeding migrants reach Ecuador, Brazil and Uruguay and it is a vagrant to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas); in subtropical or tropical dry scrubland, temperate grassland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, and pastureland.

Conservation status: Least Concern

Tawny-throated Dotterel VSmithUK

Tawny-throated Dotterel ©Vince Smith

Magellanic Plover (Pluvianellus socialis)

Distribution: Partially resident in the extreme south of Chile and south Argentina, with part of the population wintering north to the Valdes peninsula, south-central Argentina, and sometimes as far as Buenos Aires province; breeds inland and then moves to the coast during the winter, particularly to estuaries.

Conservation status: Near Threatened

Magellanic Plover crookrw

 Magellanic Plover

Magellanic Oystercatcher (Haematopus leucopodus)

Distribution: Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas); in freshwater lakes and sandy shores.

Conservation status: Least Concern

Magellanic Oystercatcher man_with_noname

Magellanic Oystercatcher 

Blackish Oystercatcher (Haematopus ater)

Distribution: Argentina, Chile, the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and Peru, and is a vagrant to Uruguay; usually in rocky shores.

Conservation status: Least Concern

Blackish  Oystercatcher pablo caceres c

Blackish Oystercatcher ©Pablo Caceres Contreras 

Andean Avocet (Recurvirostra andina)

Distribution: Above 3500m in northwestern Argentina, western Bolivia, northern Chile and southern Peru, is non-migratory. May move to slightly lower altitudes when not breeding; usually around shallow saline lakes.

Conservation status: Least Concern

Andean Avocet rgibbo3

Andean Avocet ©Richard Gibbons

All photos under Creative Commons License