Little Ringed Plover


Little Ringed Plover

Scientific Name:  Charadrius dubius

Little Ringed Plover image

Little Ringed Plover  Photo by:  --

Bird Type:  Waders    561  Views


The adult in breeding plumage has brownish upperparts and white underparts. The male has black collar, larger on the breast. Chin and throat are white, extending to white collar above the black one. It differs from the closely related Charadrius hiaticula by the frontal pattern, with black frontal bar separated from the brown crown by a white stripe which is absent in C. hiaticula. The black head pattern also forms a mask extending to the ear-coverts. The bill is black. The eyes are dark brown with conspicuous bright yellow eyering. Legs and feet are pinkish.
The female in breeding plumage has slightly narrower eyering, and the breast band is washed brownish. Both adults in non-breeding plumage show more dark brown than black pattern, and mainly in breast band. We can see a buffy tinge on forehead and supercilium. The juvenile is brownish with much duller head pattern and plumage than adults. The breast band is often broken in two lateral patches. The upperparts are paler than in adults with buffy feather edges involving scaled effect. The eyering is dull yellow. Legs and feet are yellowish.
The downy chick is white mottled cinnamon, grey and blackish. Its general pattern resembles that of adults.


  • 14-17 cm

  • 6-7 Inch

  • brown

  • white  (Bird may have more colors)
  •    ছোট নথজিরিয়া
  •    Pluvier petit-gravelot
  •    વિલાયતી ઝીણી ટીટોડી
  •    झिरिआ, मर्वा
  •    कंठेरी चिखल्या
  •    लघु राजपुत्रिका
  •    कृकषा
  •    சிறு ஆள்காட்டி குருவி

The Little Ringed Plover occurs usually in lowlands, up to 800 metres of elevation. It breeds on bare flats of sand, shingle or silt with sparse vegetation. It is often found near fresh water. It frequents sometimes brackish lagoons and estuaries, and saline inland pools. It is fairly rare along the coasts outside the breeding season. It has adapted to artificial sites such as gravel pits or industrial wastelands.
The natural ecosystems and habitats of these little ringed plover species include tropical and subtropical mangroves, tropical and subtropical flooded grasslands, freshwater lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, estuaries, sand bars and marine shoreline.


The diet of this little ringed plover consists mainly of insects. Insects, insect larvae, spiders, ants, grasshoppers, crickets, cicadas, locust, dragonflies, beetles, worms, crustaceans and snails are their primary food.
These plover species pick their prey from the ground as well as from the shallow waters. They have been found to occasionally feed on vegetative matter like grass seeds and sedges.


The Little Ringed Plover gives clear peeoo as common call, a far-carrying sound for a small bird. A short peeu or cru and insistent pip in alarm are usually heard. The song is uttered early in the season, a repeated cree-ah which accompanies the aerial displays.


The Little Ringed Plover feeds mainly on various insects such as beetles, flies, ants, mayfly, dragonfly and larvae, and crickets. It also takes spiders, shrimps, small crustaceans, mussels, worms and snails.
This species forages on both dry and wet surfaces, and also in shallow water. It uses sometimes foot-trembling, but it often waits for preys coming to the surface or moving on the ground, and it runs fast to take it as soon as it is detected. It forages in tidal mudflats, pools, open short grasslands or bare ground.
It is often solitary or in pairs, and rarely joins with large flocks or at roosts with other shorebirds. They may sometimes form small groups of 10-12 birds.

The Little Ringed Plover is territorial and often defends a good feeding area by chasing off other birds. They use the bold facial and breast patterns while displaying and fighting. During aggressive encounters, males stand facing each other, making conspicuous their facial markings. The aggressor runs towards the neighbour with head down and fanned tail. Then, both walk together, up to a metre apart, along the territory boundary. The wings are drooped towards each other, the tail is fanned and the back feathers are slightly raised.
These movements can be stopped by bouts of posturing. The bird fans the tail and tilts it slightly, the wing is drooped on the side of the opponent, ready for a strike.
This behaviour is performed to establish the territory and to defend it in non-breeding period.

The Little Ringed Plover performs courtship display flights with butterfly-like movements. The male circles endlessly with slow wingbeats. This flight is accompanied by song, especially during steep ascents or vertical dives. Courtship displays are noisy, but this species become secretive while nesting. The black-and-white pattern is brighter during courtship.

    Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
    Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
    Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
    Winter visitor
    Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
    known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
    Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
    Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
 colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season