Breed across northern Canada and Alaska. They migrate south to winter in coastal areas, from the United States down to Patagonia (at the southern end of South America). Rare vagrants have been reported in western Europe.
These small plovers measure 5.5 - 7.9 inches (14 - 20 cm) in length. The back and wings are grey-brown. The abdomen is white. The chest is white, except for one black band near the neck line. The forehead is white, the cap is brown and there is a black mask around the eyes. The short bill is orange and black.