Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Charadriiformes Family: Charadriidae
BTO Codes: RP, RINPL EURING No: 4700
Number in Britain: 5300 Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant/Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
Subspecies: hiaticula (RBW), tundrae (W) recorded in Britain (of 3 subsp. in the world)
Length: 19 cm Wingspan: 52 cm Weight: M/F: 64 g    
Scientific name from: Gr.: kharadra=a ravine and L.: hiatus=a cleft + -colere=to inhabit
World Distribution: BREEDS: n Eurasia, WINTERS: south to s Africa, s Asia & Australia
Habitat: Sandy areas with low vegetation, on migration estuaries
Diet: Summer, invertebrates, Winter primarily marine worms, crustaceans and molluscs
TitBit: In common with many plovers, when the parents sense a threat to their nest or chicks they feign a broken wing to lead potential predators away.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: No regional trends available
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 5300 Pairs in 2007
    Passage: 30000 individuals
    First Record: Recorded in Medieval times [Fossil evidence from Middle Pleistocene, c. 500,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Conway, G.J. et al. (2008) UK population estimates from the 2007 breeding little ringed and ringed plover surveys BTO, Thetford
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Recent Breeding Population Decline (1981-2007), Important Non-breeding Population
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern: hiaticula AMBER (Recent Decline), tundrae GREEN
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
European Population Size:
    Summer: 110 to 180 thousand pairs
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: Bern(III), Bonn(II), AEWA
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 35 x 26 mm Egg Weight: 11.5 g (of which 6 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 279
Clutch Size: 4 eggs 3.72 ± 0.55 (2 - 5) N = 2989
Incubation: 23- 25 days   by the: Male + Female
Fledging: 23 - 25days as: Precocial, downy
First Clutches Laid: 14 May (21 Apr - 28 Jun)
Number of Broods: 2(3)
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.772 ± 0.086       
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 5 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 19 years 8 months 19 days (set in 2000)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: B+
Wing Length Adult: 135.2 ± 4.2 Range 129 - 142 mm, N =2407
Juvenile: 132.5 ± 4.2 126 - 139 mm, N =1008
Male: 135.8 ± 4.0 129 - 142 mm, N =835
Female: 135.7 ± 4.2 129 - 143 mm, N =561
Weight Adult: 67.68 ± 8.26 Range 54.00 - 82.00 g , N =2351
Juvenile: 63.54 ± 8.61 48.60 - 77.00 g , N =987
Male: 68.66 ± 8.75 54.00 - 83.00 g , N =811
Female: 67.49 ± 8.77 53.00 - 82.00 g , N =541
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Common / Great Ringed Plover
Gaelic: Trģlleachan-trąghad Welsh: Cwtiad Torchog
Danish: Stor pręstekrave Dutch: Bontbekplevier
Finnish: Tylli French: Grand Gravelot
German: Sandregenpfeifer Hungarian: Parti lile
Icelandic: Sandlóa Irish: Feadóg Chladaigh
Italian: Corriere grosso Norwegian: Sandlo
Polish: Sieweczka obrozna Portuguese: Borrelho-grande-de-coleira
Spanish: Chorlitejo grande Swedish: Större strandpipare
Local Names: Sea/Sand Lark

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Nethersole-Thompson, D. & M. 1986 Waders, their breeding, haunts and watchers Poyser, London [598.6 NET]
See Also:
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Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides