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Little Ringed Plover - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Charadrius dubius)
Subspecies C. d. jerdoni breeding pair
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India, 22 June 2017
Charadrius dubius


Subspecies C. j. curonicus
Photo © by Nigel Blake

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.

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.


Subspecies C. j. curonicus
Photo © by lovejoy
Nottinghamshire, 26 April 2020

Eurasia, Africa and Australasia. Rare breeder in Scotland



There are 3 subspecies1:


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


Juvenile, subspecies curonicus
Photo © by Ian Byrnes
Grimley, Worcestershire, 10 July 2020


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.


They forage for food on muddy areas; the diet consisting of insects and worms.


Distraction display, used to lure predators away from the nest
Photo © by Digiscoper321
West Sweden, 12 June 2020


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1