Ringed Plovers
Home PageBirds of Devon and Cornwall Ringed Plover  

Latin Name - Charadrius hiaticula

Larger than its cousin, the Little Ringed Plover, and with a distinctive white wing bar the Ringed Plover is usually found in coastal habitats. It is a small, rather dumpy, short-legged wading bird with sandy-brown upper parts and whitish under parts. It has an orange bill with a dark tip, orange legs and a black-and-white pattern on its head and breast. It feeds by running along sandy beaches or estuarine mud picking up flies, crustaceans and molluscs. It nests on sandy or shingle beaches although it has spread inland to utilise river margins and flooded quarries. They nest on the ground in an open area with little cover. If a predator approaches the nest, the adult will attempt to lead it away by walking away feigning a broken wing. Once the intruder has been led far enough away from the nest, the plover flies off.

Resident in Britain, our native population is swelled by influxes of birds from Europe in the winter months. Other ringed plovers nest in summer in Greenland and north east Canada and visit us during their annual migration to and from coastal areas of Africa.

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