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A photo of a Oriental Plover (Charadrius veredus)
Oriental Plover

Oriental Plover

Charadrius veredus

The Oriental Plover, also known as the Oriental Dotterel, is a medium-sized plover with a distinctive appearance. The adult male, in his breeding plumage, is quite the spectacle with a white face, throat, and fore-crown, contrasted by a grey-brown hind-crown, hind-neck, and back. A narrow black band neatly demarcates the white belly, leading into a broad chestnut breast band that seamlessly merges into the white throat. Outside of the breeding season, as well as in females and juveniles, the plumage is more subdued, with generally grey-brown upperparts and a white belly. A pale face with a white streak above the eye is characteristic. This bird is relatively large among its red-breasted Charadrius cousins, with long legs and wings. It measures 21–25 cm in length, has a wingspan of 46–53 cm, and weighs around 95 grams.

Identification Tips

When identifying the Oriental Plover, look for the striking chestnut breast band in males during the breeding season. Outside of this period, note the bird's size, long legs, and the white streak above the eye, which can help distinguish it from similar species.

Habitat

The Oriental Plover breeds in the dry steppes, deserts, arid grasslands, and saltpans. During the non-breeding season, it can be found in grasslands, salt-fields, and coastal areas.

Distribution

This bird breeds in Mongolia, eastern Russia, and Manchuria. It is a migratory species that travels through eastern China and Southeast Asia to reach its non-breeding grounds in Indonesia and northern Australia. It is a rare visitor to New Guinea and has been recorded as a straggler in New Zealand and Europe on four occasions, including Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

Behaviour

The Oriental Plover is a migratory bird, undertaking a long journey southwards each year to spend the non-breeding season in warmer climates.

Breeding

The breeding habits of the Oriental Plover have not been extensively studied, but it is known to nest on the ground.

Similar Species

The Oriental Plover can be confused with other red-breasted Charadrius plovers, but its larger size, long legs, and distinctive breeding plumage set it apart.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Oriental Plover consists mainly of insects.

Conservation Status

The Oriental Plover is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN. It is estimated that there may be around 160,000 individuals, with about 90% of them overwintering in Australia. There is no evidence of significant population decline, and the species has a large range.

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

Kentish Plover

Charadrius alexandrinus
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