Little Ringed Plover
Charadrius dubius - Petit Gravelot Pluvier petit-gravelot
- Size: 17 cm
- Wingspan: 42 à 48 cm.
- Weight: 30 à 50 g
The Little Ringed Plover looks like the large ringed plover, but it is smaller and has a more delicate silhouette. You must look at the head to make the distinction. First of all, the Little Ringed Plover adult has a striking bright yellow eye ring around its dark eye. Then, its beak is blackish apart from a very small area of dull yellow at the base of the lower mandible. Its forehead is more black than white. Close up, one can very well see a thin white border behind the black forehead band. Finally, its legs are pinkish to brownish. In flight, it has no white wing band, just an alignment of light points at the end of the coverts, barely visible. It's also the only plover without it. Sexual dimorphism is low. The female has brown infiltrating into the black, particularly at the level of the ear coverts, the yellow eye ring is less thick and the legs more subdued in colour. The inter-nuptial adult has the black areas of the head becoming brownish, the pectoral band reduced. The yellow eye ring is still clearly visible. The juvenile looks like the winter adult but the upper tectrices are edged in beige giving them a somewhat scaled appearance. The head, quite uniform, does not show a pronounced pale eyebrow. The pectoral band is often incomplete, cut in the middle. The legs are coloured yellow, which brings them closer to those of the large ones which are more orange. 3 subspecies are described which differ from each other only slightly.
Subspecific information 3 subspecies
- Charadrius dubius dubius (Philippines to New Guinea and the Bismarck Arch.)
- Charadrius dubius curonicus (n Africa, Europe, Asia. except sc and se.)
- Charadrius dubius jerdoni (India to s China and Indochina)
- Petit Gravelot,
- Chorlitejo chico,
- kis lile,
- Kleine Plevier,
- Corriere piccolo,
- mindre strandpipare,
- kulík riečny,
- kulík říční,
- Lille Præstekrave,
- corriol anellat petit,
- sieweczka rzeczna,
- upes tārtiņš,
- mali deževnik,
- Малый зуёк,
- Cerek kalung-kecil,
Voice song and cries
The Little Ringed Plover breeds on the banks or sandy or stony islets of rivers and water bodies, natural or artificial (ponds, lakes, reservoirs, gravel pits, sand pits, settling basins, dykes and embankments, industrial wastelands).
Behaviour character trait
The Little Ringed Plover is much less gregarious than its cousin, the Greater Ringed Plover. It has faster wing beats. It runs at an astonishing speed - its legs move so fast they become invisible and the bird seems to glide like a child's toy.
The Little Ringed Plover is an insectivore. It hunts visible prey on the ground and with its beak those which are not directly visible because they are hidden or buried.
In Europe and North Africa, the breeding season ranges from March to July. In France, nesting begins in April.
The Little Ringed Plover of the eurasian subspecies nests from the British Isles, France and Spain (except Ireland) to the Russian Far East, Korea, eastern China and Japan. It is also in North Africa and the Canary Islands. It winters in Africa south of the Sahara. The jerdoni subspecies is sedentary in the Indian subcontinent and SE Asia. Finally, the nominate subspecies dubius is sedentary in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and the Bismarck archipelago.
Threats - protection
IUCN conservation status
in the Wild
This species is not listed as threatened by BirdLife International with the criteria used. Nevertheless, the overall population trend seems to be decreasing, although data is lacking in many regions. In Europe, it is estimated that the population size has decreased by at least 25% over 15 years (BirdLife International 2015). The species is mainly threatened by the degradation and loss of its optimal habitats. Many of the breeding sites are disturbed by human recreational activities. On a global scale, the threats are numerous, as one can imagine, regulation of floods, pollution by oil and derivatives, abstraction of fluvial and alluvial materials, pumping causing decreases in water flow, etc. Little Ringed Plover is also affected by these threats.
Sources of information
- IOC World Bird List (v13.1), Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2023.
- Limicoles, gangas et pigeons d'Europe, Paul Géroudet (mise à jour Georges Olioso)
- Shorebirds, an identification guide to the waders of the world, Peter Hayman, John Marchant Tony Prater
- Avibase, Lepage Denis
- BirdLife International, BirdLife International
- Birds of the World, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- xeno-canto, Sharing bird sounds from around the world,
Translation by AI Oiseaux.net
published: 16-02-2021 - Updated: 16-02-2021
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