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A photo of a Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Little Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover

Charadrius dubius

The Little Ringed Plover, Charadrius dubius, presents itself as a small and sprightly bird. Its plumage is a subtle blend of grey-brown on the back and wings, while its underparts remain a crisp white. A distinctive black neckband adorns its white breast, complementing the brown cap atop its head. A striking black mask encircles the eyes, set against a white forehead, and is accentuated by a clear yellow eye-ring—a feature unique to this species. Its bill is short and dark, and the legs exhibit a flesh-coloured hue, with all toes connected by webbing.

Identification Tips

To distinguish the Little Ringed Plover from its close relatives, one should note the colour of its legs, the pattern on its head, and the presence of the yellow eye-ring. These characteristics set it apart from the larger Ringed Plover, which lacks these specific traits.

Habitat

The preferred breeding grounds of the Little Ringed Plover are open gravel areas adjacent to freshwater sources. These include gravel pits, river edges, and islands, where vegetation is sparse or non-existent.

Distribution

This bird boasts a wide range across the Palearctic, extending to northwestern Africa. It is a migratory species, retreating to the warmer climates of Africa during the winter months.

Behaviour

The Little Ringed Plover is known for its foraging habits on muddy terrains, where it primarily relies on sight to locate its prey. It is a ground-nesting bird, with both males and females sharing the responsibility of incubating the eggs.

Song & Calls

The call of the Little Ringed Plover is a distinctive sound, contributing to the rich tapestry of bird songs in its habitat.

Breeding

During the breeding season, these birds exhibit a fascinating mating ritual where the male bird may be observed tapping the cloaca of the female.

Similar Species

While similar in appearance to the larger Ringed Plover, the Little Ringed Plover can be differentiated by its leg colour, head pattern, and the conspicuous yellow eye-ring.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Little Ringed Plover consists of insects and worms, which it diligently searches for in muddy areas.

Conservation status

The Little Ringed Plover is currently classified as Least Concern by the IUCN. It is also protected under the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), ensuring international efforts are made to safeguard its future.

Little Ringed Plover Sounds



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Little Ringed Plovers on Birda

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A photo of a Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) , male

Kentish Plover

Charadrius alexandrinus
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