Charadrius alexandrinus (Kentish plover) 

Kentse strandkiewiet [Afrikaans]; Strandplevier [Dutch]; Pluvier ŕ collier interrompu [French]; Seeregenpfeifer [German]; Borrelho-de-coleira-interrompida [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Charadriiformes > Family: Charadriidae > Genus: Charadrius

Charadrius alexandrinus (Kentish plover)   

Kentish Plover, Portugal. [photo Rosa Gambóias ©]


Distribution and habitat

Breeds across much of Eurasia and North America between 5-55° North, heading south in the non-breeding season to the South America, southern Asia and Africa, mainly in the Sahel desert from Senegal to Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. It is a vagrant to southern Africa, with the majority of records in northern Mozambique, while rarely sighted along the coast of northern Namibia, with one record at the coast of eastern Western Cape. It generally prefers flat, open coastal habitats, especially sandy beaches and tidal mudflats, while further inland it favours saline pans and wetlands with extensive muddy margins.

Distribution of Kentish plover in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).


It mainly eats invertebrates, doing most of its foraging by repeatedly running and stopping, plucking small prey from the ground or trembling its feet to attract small animals to the water surface.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 



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