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A photo of a Collared Plover (Charadrius collaris)
Collared Plover

Collared Plover

Charadrius collaris

The Collared Plover, a diminutive shorebird of the Charadriidae family, graces the coasts and riverbanks of the tropical to temperate Americas. This species, Anarhynchus collaris, is recognized by its modest stature, measuring a mere 18 centimeters in length and tipping the scales at approximately 35 grams.

Identification Tips

Adult Collared Plovers are distinguished by a striking black breast band. Males boast a white forehead, framed by a black frontal bar and a black stripe extending from the bill to the eye. The mid-crown and nape are adorned with a rich chestnut hue, and their legs are a vibrant yellow. In flight, one can observe dark flight feathers contrasted by a white wing bar, and the tail reveals white sides. Females are generally similar to males, though some may exhibit a brownish tinge to the black areas. Juveniles, on the other hand, lack the black head markings and instead have brown patches on the chest.


The Collared Plover favors sandy coasts, estuarine mudflats, inland riverbanks, and open sandy savannas for its habitat.


From central Mexico southward to Chile and Argentina, the Collared Plover is found. Its range also includes some southern Caribbean islands, as well as Trinidad and Tobago.


This species is predominantly sedentary, with some evidence suggesting limited seasonal movements. The Collared Plover is not known for its sociability, often seen alone or in small groups, and is characteristically wary.

Song & Calls

The flight call of the Collared Plover is a sharp, metallic "pip," a sound that can be heard over the coastal breezes and river currents.


Breeding times vary by region, with activity noted from November to December in western Mexico, March to June in Costa Rica, January in Venezuela, and March in Ecuador's lowlands. The male's courtship display is a terrestrial affair, involving fluffed breast feathers and a pursuit of the female. The nest is a simple ground scrape, positioned safely above high tide or flood lines. The clutch consists of two pale buff eggs, adorned with brown spots.

Similar Species

The Snowy Plover and Semipalmated Plover are similar in appearance to the Collared Plover. The Snowy Plover is paler and has dark legs, lacking a complete breastband. The Semipalmated Plover, larger and with a thicker bill, can be differentiated by its pale collar, a feature ironically absent in the Collared Plover, which bears its name for this very reason.

Diet and Feeding

Insects and other invertebrates comprise the diet of the Collared Plover, which it captures using a run-and-pause technique rather than the steady probing typical of other wader species.

Conservation status

The Collared Plover is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating a stable population across its extensive range.

Collared Plover Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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Collared Plovers on Birda


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

Kentish Plover

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