The semipalmated plovers have been delighting me all summer and fall. I have seen them in the Bronx (Orchard Beach), Staten Island (the beaches at Mount Loretto and Wolfe's Pond) and Queens (Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and Broad Channel American Park). They are talkative little birds, and when I saw flocks of them at Broad Channel, they were really peeping up a storm (you can listen to their calls on the Audubon site). The "semipalmated" part of their name refers to the partial webbing between their toes.
These little shorebirds eat insects that they dig for in the mud and sand on the shorelines. They are distinguished from killdeer by their single dark band across the chest (the killdeer have two bands). They have short black bills with an orange base.
They have been such fun to photograph, and these photos range from June 1 to October 4.