Birda Logo
Species Guide
A photo of a Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), male
Kentish Plover, Male

Kentish Plover

Charadrius alexandrinus

The Kentish plover, Anarhynchus alexandrinus, is a diminutive wader of the family Charadriidae. It is a bird of saline lakeshores, lagoons, and coastal regions, where it frequents sand dunes, marshes, semi-arid deserts, and tundra. Exhibiting sexual dimorphism, both sexes have pale plumage with a white underside and a grey/brown back, but males are distinguished by dark incomplete breast bands and head markings.

Identification Tips

Adult Kentish plovers possess dark legs and bills. Males, during the breeding season, are adorned with a black head bar, dark breast bands, black ear coverts, and a rufous nape and crown, though variations exist among populations. Females are paler and lack the dark markings. As the breeding season wanes, the differences between sexes diminish. Males typically have longer tarsi and flank feathers, the latter being advantageous for incubation and brood care.


Kentish plovers select breeding habitats with low elevation, sparse vegetation, and high moisture, away from human disturbance. They show a preference for open, moist nesting sites and are known to move chicks to areas with better food availability.


This species boasts a vast geographical range, from North Africa to Central Asia and Europe. It is found in countries such as Senegal, China, Spain, and Austria. Some populations are migratory, wintering in Africa, while others, including various island populations, are resident.


Kentish plovers are ground-nesting birds with a flexible breeding system that includes monogamous and polygamous pairings. They exhibit territorial behavior, with males attracting females through courtship displays. Parents may move chicks to improve survival chances, balancing the risks and benefits of such movements.

Song & Calls

The alarm call, or "kittup," is frequently heard and may be followed by a "too-eet" sound. The threat note is a distinctive "twanging, metallic, dwee-dwee-dweedweedwee."


Breeding pairs may reunite or change mates between or within seasons. The courtship displays and breeding season length vary among populations. Kentish plovers can replace failed clutches and parent multiple broods due to mate changes and extra-pair copulations.

Similar Species

The Kentish plover can be confused with other plovers, but its unique breeding plumage and habitat preferences help distinguish it.

Diet and Feeding

Kentish plovers forage for a variety of invertebrates, including insects, molluscs, crustaceans, and worms. They employ a run-and-stop method to feed, and their foraging success is influenced by environmental factors such as light and weather conditions.

Conservation status

The Kentish plover is classified as Least Concern due to its extensive range. However, populations are declining due to habitat loss, human disturbance, predation, and climate change. Conservation efforts focus on habitat protection and minimizing human interference.

Kentish Plover Sounds

Recorded by: © 
App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Kentish Plovers on Birda


More Plovers

Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Really great app
It’s easy to use and it’s fun to log the birds you notice on a walk or just in your garden. There’s a option to record the birds you see in a session which is really nice. Good excuse to stop for a while and just watch birds. I am also enjoying the information part where you can find out fact about birds from all over the world.
Terrific App for Birders
Downloaded Birda around the time my interest in birding was sparked, and it has been a terrific app to help me (1) share my experience, (2) document my sightings, and (3) learn more about birds in general. That said, I also believe Birda is a fantastic app for birders of all experience levels. Great community!
Safira V
Birding and wellbeing app
Birda is an excellent platform to share your love of Birding and is a great tool of encouragement for a Birding Beginner like me. Birda has a very kind and supportive community of Birding enthusiasts. For me BIRDA is not only a BIRDING but also a WELLBEING App.
Dan R
Great app for bird fanatics
Great app for bird fanatics - very user friendly and a perfect place to share sightings.
Wonderful App
Birda is my go to app for keeping records of my bird sightings and sessions. It has fantastic information which is great at aiding identification. With all the updates that are coming in the new year, this app is something special.
Alice J
Awesome Birding Community
I absolutely love the community aspect of this app. The app is so user friendly and has fun interactive challenges to get you out birding. I’ve tried others but since I’ve started using Birda I’ve not gone back!
Talli A
My favourite app
As a young birdwatcher who was always keen to be apart of a community but never seemed to find one, my problem was solved downloading this!!! Everyone is so friendly and just as excited to see birds as me 😁
Fantastic app - Love it!
Love this app and have used it almost daily. Lots of species information and easy to use. Love seeing birds spotted by other users in the UK and worldwide.
Mike T
Sense of Community
A great app, which is continually being improved. What really comes through is the passion of those behind the app. The sense of community is brilliant, so much help and support provided to new and/or in experienced birders.
Unbridled Discoveries
Great app for bird lovers
I love this app! It’s a wonderful way to track birding sessions, and also connect you with fellow birders. I also really like the unidentified bird section, it’s a great community tool to help figure out what a never-before-seen bird is!
As featured in
Birda Logo
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.