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Double-banded Plover

Charadrius bicinctus

The double-banded plover (Charadrius bicinctus), known as the banded dotterel or pohowera in New Zealand, is a species of bird in the plover family. Two subspecies are recognised: the nominate Charadrius bicinctus bicinctus, which breeds throughout New Zealand, including the Chatham Islands, and Charadrius bicinctus exilis, which breeds in New Zealand's subantarctic Auckland Islands. The double-banded plover is distinguished by a dark, grey-brown back with a distinctive white chest and a thin band of black situated just below the neck running across the chest along with a larger brown band underneath. During breeding season, these bands are more dominantly shown on the males compared to females. Younger birds have no bands, and are often speckled brown on top, with less white parts. These shorebirds have relatively long legs to allow them to easily wade around shallow waters and move efficiently around sandy beaches. Their long pointed wings aid in traveling long distances as they allow the bird to be very agile. The double-banded plover's head is prominent with large, dark-brown eyes and a sturdy black bill. Due to similar colors within the plovers ideal habitat, spotting these birds can be difficult to achieve, however the "chirp-chirp" call is easily heard and their habit of running quickly then pausing to feed on food can catch the eye of observers.
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