Oriental Plover

Did you know?

The Oriental Plover migrates from Mongolia and Manchuria in China to Australia via south east Asia.

A distinctive, irregularly repeated and soft 'peet', 'tick' or 'tink'.
Facts and Figures
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Breeding season: 
July to September
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Basic Information
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What does it look like?

The Oriental Plover is a medium-sized, elegant, long-legged plover. It has plain sandy-olive upperparts with a buff white eyebrow, a buff-grey upperbreast with white underparts. It has no clear wing-bar on the upperwing and the underwing is distinctly grey brown. When breeding, the male plumage is a cream or buff-white eyebrow, face and throat, which merge into an orange-buff upper breast cut off below by a black waistband, with white underparts below. The Oriental Plover is also known as the Oriental Dotterel.

Similar species: 

The Oriental Plover may be confused with the Pacific Golden Plover,Pluvialis fulva, which is plumper and has shorter legs and wings, dark legs, darker face and brighter yellow-buff covering with heavily patterned upperparts. The Large Sand Plover, Charadrius leschenaultii, and Mongolian Plover, Charadrius mongolus, are smaller and more compact than the Oriental Plover.

Where does it live?

The Oriental Plover has been recorded in all states but most common in coastal areas and northern Australia. It breeds in Mongolia, and passes through east China on migration.


The Oriental Plover is found generally inland; in open grasslands in arid and semi-arid zones; and less often in estuarine or littoral environments. This species prefers flat inland plains, sparsely vegetated short grass with hard bare ground including claypans, playing fields, lawns and cattle camps. The Oriental Plover may move to lightly-wooded grasslands with the onset of the wet season.

Seasonal movements: 

It is a regular summer migrant to Australia from September to March. In the south they are seldom seen in one place for more than a couple of days.

What does it do?

The Oriental Plover has only been recorded feeding on insects. They forage in loose flocks often with other waders and waterbirds.


The Oriental Plover breeds during April to July in Mongolia and parts of eastern China, in barren areas like steppes and saltpans. Little is known about their breeding behaviour.

Living with us

The Oriental Plover uses artificial grasslands with a short or sparse covering of grass, such as airfields, playing fields, urban backyards, ploughed paddocks, cattle camps, saltfields, dams and reservoirs. Threats on passage (the migration route to Australia) include economic and social pressures such as wetland destruction and change, pollution and hunting.

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