Red-capped Plover

Did you know?

Both parents share the nest duties and if the nest is threatened the Red-capped Plovers will try several distraction methods, including feigning injury by dragging a wing to lead predators away.

Calls
Varied abrupt 'tik', often repeated.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
14cm
Maximum Size: 
16cm
Average size: 
15cm
Average weight: 
37g
Breeding season: 
July to March
Clutch Size: 
2
Incubation: 
31 days
Nestling Period: 
34 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
NT: 
QLD: 
SA: 
TAS: 
VIC: 
WA: 
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
143
What does it look like?
Description: 

The adult male Red-capped Plover has a bright reddish chestnut crown (centre of crown can be grey brown) and nape, and grey brown mantle. There is a black incomplete band running down from the chestnut nape to the sides of the breast and a black line from the bill through and past the eye. The legs and short fine bill are black. In flight there is a clear white wing bar and white outer tail.The female is duller in colour, missing the dark breast patches. Young birds are similar but paler than the adults. Other names for this species are Red-capped Dotterel, Red-necked Dotterel and Sand Lark.

Similar species: 

The Red- capped Plover is similar to the non-breeding Lesser Sand (Mongolian) Plover, C. mongolus, the Kentish Plover, C. alexandrinus, and the non-breeding and juvenile Double-banded PloverC. bicinctus.The Red- capped Plover is small, has light upperparts and white underneath and the red cap of the male is diagnostic. Its short rear end gives it a compact shape and it often stands tall, with long legs.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The Red-capped Plover is widespread throughout Australia.

Habitat: 

The Red-capped Plover is found in wetlands, especially in arid areas, and prefers saline and brackish waters.

Seasonal movements: 

The Red-capped Plover is resident. Movements are poorly known, but it may move between the coast and inland wetlands.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

The Red-capped Plover may be seen foraging for molluscs, small crustaceans and some vegetation, on mudflats, sandy beaches and salt-marsh.

Breeding: 

The nest site of the Red-capped Plover is a shallow scrape on a beach or stony area, nearly always close to water. Sometimes the nest is protected by a small plant or some rubbish. The eggs are usually well camouflaged.

Living with us

The Red-capped Plover is secure in Australia.The nest site location can be varied, but those built in sand and pebbles are vulnerable to damage by fisherman and off-road vehicles.

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