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Rufous-chested Dotterel

From Opus

Alternative name: Rufous-chested Plover

Adult breeding malePhoto © by Rodrigo Reyes Mantagua, Region de Valparaiso, Chile, 20 July 2006
Adult breeding male
Photo © by Rodrigo Reyes
Mantagua, Region de Valparaiso, Chile, 20 July 2006
Charadrius modestus


[edit] Identification

Adult non-breedingPhoto © by Luis R. FigueroaSanto Domingo, Valparaiso, Chile, 2 June 2018
Adult non-breeding
Photo © by Luis R. Figueroa
Santo Domingo, Valparaiso, Chile, 2 June 2018

19–22 cm (7½-8¾ in)
Breeding male:

  • Bright white supercilium
  • Ashy-grey face, cheeks and throat
  • Rufous-red breast with black lower border
  • White belly

Breeding female: Similar to male but paler and duller. Rufous on chest faded.
Non-breeding adult: Head paler brown with forehead and supercilium creamy-buff. Upperparts brown with scapulars and coverts mottled and fringed with buff. Chin and throat whitish. Neck and breast mottled brown.
Juvenile: Similar to non-breeding adult. Upperparts especially mantle and scapulars very dark brown with bold white fringes. Neck and breast are mottled dark brown.

[edit] Distribution

Breeds in Tierra del Fuego and Falkland Islands; winters to southern Brazil. Extra-limital records in Brazil as far north as Rio de Janeiro.

[edit] Taxonomy

Some authors place this species in the monotypic genus Zonibyx characterized by having a hind toe and unfeathered tibia.

Fresh juvenile Photo © by Joseph MorlanCamino Dinamarquero-Ciake, Magallanes, Chile, 5 February 2015
Fresh juvenile
Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Camino Dinamarquero-Ciake, Magallanes, Chile, 5 February 2015

[edit] Subspecies

This is a monotypic species[1].

[edit] Habitat

Coastal moorland and dunes. Breeds mostly inland on short grass.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

Breeds October to January. They are solitary. Nest is placed in open. Usually inconspicuous while breeding but may launch itself into the air to perform an energetic aerial display.

[edit] Diet

They feed at the water's edge on insects, larvae, crustaceans and molluscs. Also algae and other plant material.

[edit] Vocalisations

Typical flight call is a mellow bisyllabic peeeu-dip, sometimes shortened to peeu. Also a wheezy whistle.

[edit] Movements

Partly migratory. Breeds inland, winters along the coast. Southernmost breeders migrate north in March to April, returning August to September.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. SIMPSON, R. & SIMPSON, E. 2010. Registro documentado da batuĂ­ra-de peito tijolo, Charadrius modestus (Charadriiformes: Charadriidae) em Paraty, Rio de Janeiro. Atualidades OrnitolĂłgicas, 162: 18-19.(Documented record of Rufous-chested Dotterel Charadrius modestus (Charadriformes: Charadriidae) in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro
  3. Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Rufous-chested Plover (Charadrius modestus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 January 2019).
  4. Rufous-chested Dotterel (Charadrius modestus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

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