Charadrius pallidus (Chestnut-banded plover) 

Rooibandstrandkiewiet [Afrikaans]; Kaapse plevier [Dutch]; Pluvier élégant [French]; Fahlregenpfeifer [German]; Borrelho-de-colar-arruivado [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 pallidus (Chestnut-banded plover)  Charadrius pallidus (Chestnut-banded plover) 
Chestnut-banded plover, Swakopmund, Namibia. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©] Chestnut-banded plover chick, Swakopmund, Namibia. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]
Charadrius pallidus (Chestnut-banded plover) 

Chestnut-banded plover adult with chick, Swakopmund, Namibia. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Distribution and habitat

Occurs in the Rift Valley lakes of southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, with a separate population in south-west Angola and southern Africa. Within southern Africa it is locally common along the west coast of the region, as well as in patches of northern Namibia and eastern Botswana, while more scarce in Zimbabwe, coastal Mozambique and inland South Africa. It generally prefers natural coastal embayments and man-made salt pans, occasionally moving to coastal lagoons, shallow bays and estuaries.

Distribution of Chestnut-banded 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). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Movements and migrations

Little known, it is thought to be a resident and partial migrant, sometimes travelling inland when coastal pans dry up.


It mainly eats insects and small crustaceans (such as brine shrimps, Artemia), foraging in the manner typical of plovers, running, stopping, searching then grabbing its prey before repeating the process.


  • Monogamous, territorial solitary nester, defending a territory of 20-100 metres of pan shoreline against other breeding pairs and waterbird species.
  • The nest is a scrape in the ground lined with quartz chips, clay shards, grass, fish bones and small gastropods shells.
  • Egg-laying season in the Western Cape from September-February, peaking from November-December, while elsewhere in southern Africa egg-laying season is from March-October.
  • It usually lays two eggs, which are mainly incubated by the female during the day and by the male in the evenings.
  • The chick are often held under the wings of their parents, eventually fledging at about 28-33 days old.


Near-threatened in South Africa, although its overall population is increasing due to the construction of commercial salt pans.


  • 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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