Name: there are two species of ringed plover – the common (Charadrius hiaticula) and little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius). The name ‘dubius’ is Latin for ‘doubtful’ as they were thought to be a variety of common ringed plover when named in 1776.
Appearance: common ringed plovers have grey-brown backs and wings, white stomachs, and orange legs. They can be recognised by the distinctive black masks around their eyes and their short, orange beaks. Little ringed plovers can be distinguished by their pale legs and yellow rings around their eyes.
Size: common ringed plovers are around 17 cm long with a wingspan of around 35 to 40 cm. Little ringed plovers are smaller.
Diet: ringed plovers forage for food on beaches, tidal flats, and fields, looking for insects, crustaceans, and worms.
Did you know: both species breed on open ground and beaches with little or no vegetation cover. When predators approach a plover’s nest, the adults walk away, calling at the intruder and pretending to have injured their wings to attract their attention. Once the predator is led far enough away, they fly off and return to their young.
Location: ringed plovers are migratory and often winter in southern Europe or Africa. They can be found in the UK all year round.
Where TO SEE Ringed Plovers
According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see ringed plovers in the following places:
|Place||Chance to see||User rating||No. reports|
|Isle of Mull
Photo credit: Ekaterina Chernetsova under a Creative Commons license from Flickr