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Length: 19½-21½ cm (7¾-8½ in)
Males and females are alike, although the female averages smaller. Juveniles have their upperparts spotted and extensively fringed with white and their breast is slightly streaked with dark grey. Their lores are pale and lack the dark line. Bare parts are duller with the bill showing extensive yellow culmen. Eyes are orange-grey. Legs and feet are more yellowish than on adults.
Edges of brackish lakes and lagoons, ponds, estuaries and coastal areas.
Pecks food from surface turning over small stones, seaweeds, shells and debris with its strong bill to find food. It also uses its legs and feet to scratch or dig into the sand for hidden prey, a behaviour unique among waders.
Shrimp, sandhoppers (amphipod crustacean of sandy shores) and tiny arthropods.
They use a hollow in the ground to lay 2 eggs, which are grey with dusky spots, which have all the appearance of stones. Both adults incubate the eggs and care for the young. Adults secrete a crop milk not unlike that of doves to feed their young.
Most common call is a ringing coo or ceu sounding like a cross between a dove and a plover. Also an ascending whistle weeEEEEooooo. Alarm call is a pip-wheet.
Resident, dispersive and migratory. After the breeding season they move to the coast north to the ValdÃ©s Peninsula and occasionally to southwest Buenos Aires Province, Argentina and Falkland Islands.
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