The known Mountain Plover population breeding on the Myton Bench, Duchesne County, Utah, is small, composed roughly of 30 adults and young after each breeding season. Currently, its location is peripheral to the species main range. This shrub-steppe breeding habitat differs from the shortgrass prairie habitat with which this bird is historically associated. Between 1996 and 1998 we made observations at nesting sites located consistently in 2 concentrated areas surrounded by large tracts of similar habitat. Activity may be focused in these specific areas because of breeding-site fidelity; this behavior is common among most shorebirds and has been documented for the Mountain Plover in Colorado. Also, Mountain Plovers are social and tend to choose nest sites near others. Most nests in Utah were located within close proximity of mounds of white-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys leucurus), and all were situated near roadways or oil well pads. Mountain Plovers were often observed with broods on these bare areas at night. We conclude that Mountain Plovers on the Myton Bench are distributed in clumped breeding colonies within large areas of apparently favorable habitat.
Ellison Manning, Ann E. and White, Clayton M.
"Breeding biology of Mountain Plovers (Charadrius montanus) in the Uinta Basin,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 61
, Article 9.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol61/iss2/9