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Little ringed plover

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Little ringed plover
Near Roermond, Netherlands
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Genus: Charadrius
C. dubius
Binomial name
Charadrius dubius
Scopoli, 1786
Range of Ch. dubius

The little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius) is a small plover. The genus name Charadrius is a Late Latin word for a yellowish bird mentioned in the fourth-century Vulgate. It derives from Ancient Greek kharadrios a bird found in river valleys (kharadra, "ravine"). The specific dubius is Latin for doubtful, since Sonnerat, writing in 1776, thought this bird might be just a variant of common ringed plover.[2]



Adult little ringed plovers 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 with white above and a short dark bill. The legs are flesh-coloured and the toes are all webbed.

This species differs from the larger ringed plover in leg colour, the head pattern, and the presence of a clear yellow eye-ring.


Habitats and range


Their breeding habitat is open gravel areas near freshwater, including gravel pits, islands and river edges across the Palearctic including northwestern Africa. They nest on the ground on stones with little or no plant growth. Both males and females take turns incubating the eggs.

They are migratory and winter in Africa. These birds forage for food on muddy areas, usually by sight. They eat insects and worms.



Three subspecies recognized.

  • C. d. curonicus J. F. Gmelin, 1789 - from Eurasia, Russian Fareast, Japan, Korea, China to North Africa. Winter spends in Sahara, Sri Lanka, to Indonesia and China.
  • C. d. jerdoni (Legge, 1880) - from India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan to South East Asia.
  • C. d. dubius Scopoli, 1786 - from the Philippines, New Guinea to Bismarck Archipelago.



The little ringed plover is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2019). "Charadrius dubius". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T22693770A155486463. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T22693770A155486463.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 99, 141. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.