Red-capped plover

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Red-capped plover
Charadrius ruficapillus Breeding Plumage.jpg
Male in breeding plumage
Charadrius ruficapillus.jpg
Female in breeding plumage
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Genus: Charadrius
Species: C. ruficapillus
Binomial name
Charadrius ruficapillus
Temminck, 1822

The red-capped plover (Charadrius ruficapillus), also known as the red-capped dotterel, is a small plover. It breeds in Australia. The species is closely related to (and sometimes considered conspecific with) the Kentish plover, Javan plover and white-fronted plover.

Description[edit]

Red-capped plovers have white underparts and forehead. Their upperparts are mainly grey-brown. Adult males have a rufous crown and hindneck. Adult females have a paler rufous and grey brown crown and hindneck, with pale loreal stripe. The upperwing of Charadrius ruficapillus shows dark brown remiges and primary coverts with a white wingbar in flight. Its length is 14–16 cm and its wingspan is 27–34 cm; weight 35–40 g. Breeding plumage shows a red-brown crown and nape with black margins. Non-breeding plumage is duller and lacks the black margins.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The red-capped plover is widespread in Australia; it is a vagrant to New Zealand, although it bred there for some time in small numbers from 1950–1980.[3] The species occupies a range of coastal and inland habitats, including estuaries, bays, beaches, sandflats and mudflats; inland saline wetlands. It is also found in inland wetland areas with bare ground.

Manly Marina, SE Queensland, Australia


Food[edit]

"Nest" with eggs

Mainly small invertebrates, especially molluscs, crustaceans and worms.

Breeding[edit]

A chick, adopting a camouflaged position that helps it avoid detection by predators such as gulls and crows.

The red-capped plover is a seasonal breeder on the coasts of Australia, but breeds in response to unpredictable rains inland.[3] Nests on ground in vicinity of wetlands; nest a small depression with no or minimal lining. Clutch of 2 pale yellowish-brown eggs, irregularly spotted black. Incubation period 30 days; incubating mainly done by female. Young precocial and nidifugous.

Female

Conservation[edit]

With a large range and no evidence of significant population decline, this species' conservation status is of Least Concern.

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Charadrius ruficapillus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Grosset, Arthur. "Red-capped Plover Charadrius ruficapillus". Retrieved 9 January 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Piersma, Theunis; Weirsma, Popko (1996), "Family Charadriidae (Plovers)", in del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Sargatal, Jordi, Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 3, Hoatzin to Auks, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 432–433, ISBN 84-87334-20-2 
  • BirdLife International. (2006). Species factsheet: Charadrius ruficapillus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12 February 2007
  • Marchant, S.; Higgins, P.J.; & Davies, J.N. (eds). (1994). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 2: Raptors to Lapwings. Oxford University Press: Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-553069-1