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The Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius), called Mindre Strandpipare in Skåne, 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.
Habitats and range
Their breeding habitat is open gravel areas near freshwater, including gravel pits, islands and river edges in Eurasia and 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.
Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
www.oiseaux.net is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there
Adults 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.
Length: 17 cm
Wingspan: 42 to 48 cm
Weight: 30 to 50 g
Longevity: 10 years
• Greyish-brown back and wings,
• White belly and breast
• Black neckband
• Brown cap
• White forehead and supercillium
• Black facial mask
• Yellow eye ring
• Short dark bill
• Flesh-coloured legs.
This species is very similar to the slightly larger Common Ringed Plover. The most obvious differences are the prominent yellow eye ring and all black bill in the Little Ringed Plover.
Its legs are also reddish compared with the orange legs of the Common Ringed Plover.
In flight it lacks the obvious wing bar of the larger species. On the ground, it is slightly duller and 'sleeker', with a more horizontal carriage - giving it an often rather 'furtive' appearance compared to its bolder larger cousin.
By Didier Descouens - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Little Ringed Plover feeding on mudflats
Yatsu Tidal Flat, Tokyo - April 2019
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.
The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds, or African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) is an independent international treaty developed under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme's Convention on Migratory Species.
It was founded to coordinate efforts to conserve bird species migrating between European and African nations, and its current scope stretches from the Arctic to South Africa, encompassing the Canadian archipelago and the Middle East as well as Europe and Africa.
The agreement focuses on bird species that depend on wetlands for at least part of their lifecycle and cross international borders in their migration patterns. It currently covers 254 species.
Ban on lead shot
The use of lead shot over wetlands has been banned by the signatories to the convention on account of the poisoning it causes.