Kentish Plover

Charadrius alexandrinus nihonensis




Lapwings and Plovers (Charadriidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Smooth and buff, sandy or pale olive covered lightly to moderately with small spots and scrawls, mostly dark brown to black, with some gray.

Number of Eggs:

2 - 6

Incubation Days:

23 - 32

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Near water on bare earth or in sparse vegetation, often on slightly raised ground and partly sheltered by plants or near conspicuous objects such as grass clumps or shrubs.

Nest Material:

Shallow crape lined with pebbles, shells, fish bones, and grass.





Kentish Plover: Small shorebird with dark gray legs, short black bill, and white underparts. Brown upperparts, pale-brown and black wings with white stripe. White and black striped collar, pale-red-brown crown and nape. White forehead and throat with black eyeline. Brown eyes. Tail black in center and white on sides. Adult female like male but lacks red-brown and black on neck, face, and crown, and has less white on face. Winter adult like adult female but with gray legs. Juvenile like winter adult but has pale edging to feathers on back and wings.

Breeding and Nesting

Kentish Plover: Breeding is in loose colonies, with both sexes actively defending territories. Nest is a scrape on bare, open ground and is lined with pebbles, grass, and debris. Both parents incubate eggs, normally three per clutch. May have as many as three clutches per breeding season.

Foraging and Feeding

Kentish Plover: Feeds mostly on terrestrial and aquatic insects; worms, spiders, crustaceans, mollusks. Also eats seaweed. Forages in both marine and freshwater habitats, often running after prey. Snaps bill to kill flies before swallowing.


Kentish Plover: Mostly silent. Sometimes produces short trills or a plaintive "toeeet." On breeding grounds produces chatter, such as "pyur-ree-et, pyur-ree-et."

Similar Species

Kentish Plover: Little Ringed Plover has a full breast band, paler legs, and is slightly smaller.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Similar to the upper part of the human neck, located at the back of the crown.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X