Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)

Little Ringed Plover

[order] CHARADRIIFORMES | [family] Charadriidae | [latin] Charadrius dubius | [UK] Little Ringed Plover | [FR] Pluvier petit-gravelot | [DE] Flussregenpfeifer | [ES] Chorlitejo Chico | [NL] Kleine Plevier


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Charadrius dubius EU, OR widespread AF
Charadrius dubius curonicus n Africa, Europe, Asia (except sc and se) Africa, s Asia
Charadrius dubius dubius Philippines to New Guinea and the Bismarck Arch. se Asia, Australia
Charadrius dubius jerdoni India to s China and Indochina

Physical charateristics

Smaller and less bulky than C. hiaticula , also differs in having narrow white line behind black frontal bar, and in general shead pattern, eye-ring bright yellow.
Female has brown tinge to black parts and slightly narrowed eye-ring.
Races differ in size and bill coloration, in curonicus, non-breeding adult has reduced brownish breast band, and black on head brownish, jerdone, like nominate, lacks markedly distinct non-breeding plumage.

Listen to the sound of Little Ringed Plover

[audio: Ringed Plover.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 32 cm wingspan max.: 35 cm
size min.: 15 cm size max.: 18 cm
incubation min.: 24 days incubation max.: 25 days
fledging min.: 25 days fledging max.: 25 days
broods: 2   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


Eurasia, Oriental Region : widespread


Mainly lowlands, rarely coastal. On bare or sparsely vegetated flats of sand, shingle or silt. Avoids rough terrain and tall or dense vegetation. Often in vicinity of standing or slow flowing fresh water, sometimes saline inland pools and flats, or brackish lagoons and estuaries. Also found in artificial, often only temporarily suitable, habitats, such as gravel pits, sewage works and industrial wastelands.


April-June in Europe, March-May in Notrh Africa, March-May in South India. Nominate race breeds February-May.
Monogamous for at least one brood, occasionally for several years, sometimes 3rd bird joins during breeding, but family relation of these “helpers” unknown. Solitary or in losse neighbourhood groups. Low degree of natal philopatry, but high of site fidelity, usually breeding within few km of previous year’s site. Territorial and highly aggressive, usually feeding outside territory. Nest is shallow scrape, unlined or lined with some vegetation and stones, on bare ground or among low vegetation, in vicinity of water. 4 eggs, incubation 22-28 days, by both parents. Chick mottled cinnamon orange, grey and dusky, with black band above whitish forehead, and underparts white with dark patches on sides of breast.

Feeding habits

Insects, including beetles, flies, ants, mayfly and dragonfly larvae and crickets, spiders, shrimps and other invertabrates.
Sometimes uses foot-trembling. Feeds on dry or moist surface, and occasionally in shallow water.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Little Ringed Plover status Least Concern


Race curonicus migratory, but possibly resident in South breeding areas; West European population migrates across Sahara to tropics. Leaves breading areas June to early July, and migrates late July to early September, reaching tropical Africa late August to September. Returns from late February, reaching North West Europe from mid-March, peaking April to early May, and a month later in North East; along River Yenisey, return migration peaks late may. Siberian and other Asian populations migrate to South East Asia and India, where they mix with resident race jerdoni; across Japan only on northward migration. Often migrates singly or in small flock often of not more than 10 birds. Nominate race resident and locally nomadic in Guinea. Race jerdoni resident, but moves about locally in response to water conditions. Race curonicus recently recorded regularly in small numbers in Australia.

Distribution map

Little Ringed Plover distribution range map

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