The breeding season begins in late April and extends into late August (7), and young and adult plovers generally return to the same nesting area year after year (8). Males compete with each other for female attention by performing elaborate aerial and ground displays (8) (9). After this, the males scrape nests in the sand, tossing shells and small stones and twigs into them with their beaks and then stand beside them with their wings partially spread and tails fanned, repeating this behaviour until a female indicates interest. Once he has her attention, he continues the courtship ritual by performing a high-stepping "dance”, and the female eventually selects one of the scrapes to lay her eggs in (8) (9). Most birds remain paired throughout the breeding season but change mates between years, although mate retention from the previous year is fairly frequent (6).
The female lays 3-5 (usually 4) speckled sand-coloured eggs that are incubated by both adults for 25-31 days (7), with parents trading places every 30 - 45 minutes (6). Both the eggs and the young birds are well camouflaged. When predators or other intruders come too close, the young squat motionless on the sand while the parents attempt to attract the attention of intruders to themselves, often by feigning a broken wing (4). Gulls, crows, raccoons, foxes and skunks are threats to the eggs and falcons may prey on the adult birds (8). Young often leave the nest after hours of hatching but are tended until they fledge 21 to 35 days later (6). Both adults care for the young, but females commonly stop caring for the young after 14 to 20 days, while males often remain with them until they can fly (8). Females can begin to breed at one year of age and one brood per year is typical, although they are capable of laying several clutches if a nest is destroyed (6).
The diet consists of worms, crustaceans, insects, larvae, and molluscs, which are plucked from the sand (4) (7). Chicks begin feeding on smaller sizes of these same foods shortly after they hatch (4).