Common ringed plover
|Common ringed plover|
Adults are 17–19.5 cm (6.7–7.7 in) in length with a 35–41 cm (14–16 in) wingspan. They have a grey-brown back and wings, a white belly, and a white breast with one black neckband. They have a brown cap, a white forehead, a black mask around the eyes and a short orange and black bill. The legs are orange and only the outer two toes are slightly webbed, unlike the slightly smaller but otherwise very similar semipalmated plover, which has all three toes slightly webbed, and also a marginally narrower breast band; it was in former times included in the present species. Juvenile ringed plovers are duller than the adults in colour, with an often incomplete grey-brown breast band, a dark bill and dull yellowish-grey legs.
This species differs from the smaller little ringed plover in leg colour, the head pattern, and the lack of an obvious yellow eye-ring.
|Life cycle gallery|
Breeding, range and habitat
The common ringed plover's breeding habitat is open ground on beaches or flats across northern Eurasia and in Arctic northeast Canada. Some birds breed inland, and in western Europe they nest as far south as northern France. They nest on the ground in an open area with little or no plant growth.
If a potential predator approaches the nest, the adult will walk away from the scrape, calling to attract the intruder and feigning a broken wing. Once the intruder is far enough from the nest, the plover flies off.
These birds forage for food on beaches, tidal flats and fields, usually by sight. They eat insects, crustaceans and worms.
- C. h. psammodroma – Salomonsen, 1930: breeds in Iceland, Greenland, northeast Canada; winters in west Africa. It is intermediate in size and colour.
- C. h. hiaticula – Linnaeus, 1758: breeds from temperate western Europe north to central Scandinavia; resident or short-distance migrant to southwest Europe. It is the largest and palest subspecies.
- C. h. tundrae – (Lowe, 1915): breeds in Arctic northern Scandinavia and Asia; winters in Africa and southwest Asia. It is the smallest and darkest subspecies.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Charadrius hiaticula.|
|Wikispecies has information related to: Charadrius hiaticula|
- Picture story about the biology and courtship behaviour with "pass in review" behaviour of the Ringed Plover at Naturbildarchiv-GÜNTER
- Ageing and sexing (PDF; 3.9 MB) by Javier Blasco-Zumeta & Gerd-Michael Heinze
- Ringed plover species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds
- BirdLife species factsheet for Charadrius hiaticula
- Charadrius hiaticula on Avibase
- Common ringed plover videos, photos, and sounds at the Internet Bird Collection
- Ringed plover photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)
- Interactive range map of Charadrius hiaticula at IUCN Red List maps
- Audio recordings of Common ringed plover on Xeno-canto.