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Little Ringed Plover

From Opus

Photo by Nigel Blake
Photo by Nigel Blake
Charadrius dubius


[edit] Identification

14–17 cm (5½-6¾ in)

  • Greyish-brown back and wings,
  • White belly and breast
  • Black neckband
  • Brown cap
  • White forehead and supercillium
  • Black facial mask
  • Yellow eye ring
  • Short dark bill
  • Flesh-coloured legs.

[edit] Similar Species

This species is very similar to the slightly larger Common Ringed Plover. The most obvious differences are the prominent yellow eye ring and all black bill in the Little Ringed Plover. Its legs are also reddish compared with the orange legs of the Common Ringed Plover. In flight it lacks the obvious wing bar of the larger species. On the ground, it is slightly duller and 'sleeker', with a more horizontal carriage - giving it an often rather 'furtive' appearance compared to its bolder larger cousin.

[edit] Distribution

Photo by StoopToyano, Niigata, Japan
Photo by Stoop
Toyano, Niigata, Japan

Eurasia, Africa and Australasia. Rare breeder in Scotland

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

There are 3 subspecies1:

[edit] Habitat

Gravel pits, islands and river edges - rarely far from fresh water.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

They nest on the ground on stones with little or no plant growth. The normal brood is three or four and they are sometimes double-brooded. The eggs hatch after about 25 days and the fledging period is similar. Within a short time of hatching the young birds can move very quickly, resembling tiny fluffy clockwork toys with legs looking disproportionately large. They are vulnerable to predation at this stage from crows, gulls and mammals. As a Schedule 1 species in the UK they enjoy special protection. It is illegal knowingly to disturb them during the breeding season. After a few weeks they look like faded versions of the adults.

[edit] Diet

These birds forage for food on muddy areas, and the diet includes insects and worms.

[edit] Vocalisation

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from
  2. Wikipedea
  3. Collins Field Guid 5th Edition

[edit] External Links


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