This is a Snowy Plover… they are only between 5 – 7 inches big and very very cute!
Mostly found in the US along the West Coast down into Mexico and along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida.
They feed mostly on tiny crustaceans, mollusks and marine worms. Often seen running a few steps, then pausing, running, then pausing, etc, etc, etc…
You really need to be careful when walking the beach, these little guys are so small and the same color of the sand. They blend in and can be easily missed or disrupted while trying to nest. Often they will nest on the open bare ground without any cover.
So keep your eyes open for them and enjoy watching them running around, but please do so from a distance… 🙂