Now you see it, now you don't. By simply turning its back to an intruder and squatting down, the mountain plover is able to virtually vanish into the landscape, a faculty that has earned it the nickname "prairie ghost". The elusive bird is equally adept at advertising its presence during breeding season; one display involves flying five to then meters in the air, locking its wings and calling as it floats downward like a falling leaf. Nesting on both rangeland and cropland, the mountain plover is vulnerable to predation and agricultural practices. As a result, its vanishing act is fast becoming more than an act.
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Length, 21-23.5 cm; wingspan, approx, 58 cm
Estimated at 8,000-10,000