The oriental plover (Charadrius veredus) also known as the oriental dotterel, is a medium-sized Charadriine plover closely related to the Caspian plover. It breeds in parts of Mongolia and China, migrating southwards each year to spend its non-breeding season in Indonesia, New Guinea and northern Australia.
Adult male in breeding plumage: white face, throat and fore-crown; grey-brown hind-crown, hind-neck and back; belly white, demarcated with narrow black band and then broad chestnut breast band merging into white throat. Female, juvenile and non-breeding male: generally grey-brown upperparts and white belly; pale face with white streak above eye. Measurements: length 21–25 cm; wingspan 46–53 cm; weight 95 g. Among the redbreasted Charadrius plovers, this bird is relatively large, longlegged and long-winged.
Distribution and habitat
Breeds in Mongolia, eastern Russia and Manchuria; migrates through eastern China and South-East Asia to Indonesia and northern Australia. Rare in New Guinea; straggler to New Zealand and Europe twice (Finland and Norway). The oriental plover breeds in dry steppes, deserts, arid grasslands and saltpans. Its non-breeding habitat includes grasslands, salt-fields and coastal areas.
The oriental plover feeds mainly on insects.
The breeding of this bird has not been much studied but it nests on the ground.
About 90% of the oriental plovers that make the long journey south overwinter in Australia and it has been estimated that there may be 160,000 individuals of this species. With a large range and no evidence of significant population decline, this species’ conservation status is rated by the IUCN as being of Least Concern.
- 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
- National Photographic Index of Australian Wildlife. (1987). The Shorebirds of Australia. Angus & Robertson: Sydney. ISBN 0-207-15348-5
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