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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 16, 2021

Little Ringed Plover: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

Here are some little ringed plover facts that tell you about the order Charadriiformes, the little ringed plover juvenile, and everything in between.

The little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius) bird species is one of the most beautiful and regal-looking ones in the world. These birds are characterized by their dark neck bands, large wingspan, rapid wing flaps, and beautiful flight during the breeding season and the sweet sound that they communicate through. The length and range of the population distribution is spread over Europe and South-east Asia with minor differences in the subspecies.

Usually found in pairs, this species of the Charadriidae family forms small groups for migration after spending the summer season in places such as Europe. While photos hardly do them any justice, you will definitely be given a rough idea of their appearance which will make you want to see them in real life!

For more relatable content, check out these green heron facts and glossy ibis facts for kids.

Little Ringed Plover Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a little ringed plover?

The little ringed plover is a bird that is known to be quite aggressive and territorial.

What class of animal does a little ringed plover belong to?

While the scientific term for the class of animals that these birds belong to is Aves, we generally simply classify them as birds.

How many little ringed plovers are there in the world?

There are no conclusive numbers regarding the population size of this bird species, however, their range map, distribution, and conservation status suggests that these birds have a stable population.

Where does a little ringed plover live?

The little ringed plover is known to live near gravel pits, shores, mangroves, and flooded areas where these birds freely find small crustaceans and insects to feed on.

What is a little ringed plover's habitat?

The little ringed plover range map extends throughout parts of Europe, South-east Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The distribution of these birds is even in other parts of the world since the habitats are appropriate for the needs of this species.

Who do little ringed plovers live with?

Little ringed plovers are territorial and aggressive, however it may be difficult for you to believe that such small birds could fit such a description. These birds are very protective of the entire map of their territory and confront any intruding birds with elaborate, threatening postures. It is only during the time of migration that these birds form small groups of around 10-12 birds. They mostly live in mated pairs or lead a solitary life.

How long does a little ringed plover live?

The average lifespan of a little ringed plover is around 5-10 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season is variable according to the habitats of these birds. While they breed between April and September in Europe, little ringed plovers breed during March to May in the Indian subcontinent, as well as in North Africa. The courtship rituals are particularly eye-catching as the male little ringed plover adult performs dives in flight and lets out calls and whistles.

During the breeding season, both the adult male and female birds' plumage turns bright in color. The females lay around two to four eggs in each clutch and incubate them with the male little ringed plover for about 25 days. The male parent is also often in charge of making sure that the eggs are safe. If any threat is suspected, both parent birds get aggressive. A little ringed plover double nest is a strategy used for escaping predators.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN and Birdlife International, the conservation status of the little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius), described by Scopoli in 1786, is of Least Concern. At the same time, it must be noted that in spite of their stable population number, it is known that this species and its subspecies face the threat of habitat loss and degradation.

Little Ringed Plover Fun Facts

What do little ringed plovers look like?

The little ringed plover bird is characterized by a brown colored head and white colored breast. The forehead region separates the plumage of the rest of the brown colored head and body through a white colored band, which then starts in a black colored one. The ringed plover is also characterized by an eye ring. In the case of adult males, the eye ring is yellow in color, and in the case of adult females, the eye ring is somewhat buff colored.

The breast region is white in color which compliments the underside of the wings. The wings are mostly brown in color. The plumage of breeding adults is more vibrant than that of non-breeding ones. The adult female's plumage is usually duller.

The little ringed plover chick has long legs which it uses to run around throughout the range of its population distribution. Adults have short legs and a short, black colored bill.

Little ringed plover photos reveal the black colored pattern on the head and body.

How cute are they?

While information about their behavior may let you think otherwise, there are no doubts that this species is impeccably cute. The colorful neck, white breast, and a forehead band gives the little ringed plover the most regal and cute appearance.

How do they communicate?

The sound or call of the little ringed plover consists of short sounds that are typical of the order Charadriiformes. These birds often live in mated pairs, although they may form groups for migration.

How big is a little ringed plover?

The average length of a little ringed plover is around 5.5-6.6 in (14-17 cm). These birds are around half the size of an American golden plover. Pictures of the little ringed plover and little ringed plover subspecies show that their wing-length is average.

How fast can a little ringed plover fly?

While the exact flight speed of the little ringed plover is not known, the wingspan, weight, and size of this species of the family Charadriidae suggests that these birds are fair flyers. The assumption is validated by their elaborate breeding or courting methods, during which the male performs quite beautiful tricks as it soars up and dives to the ground rapidly.

How much does a little ringed plover weigh?

The average weight of the little ringed plover is around 0.9-1.8 oz (26-53 g). This species weighs 13 times more than an average bee hummingbird!

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no distinct names for the name and female little ringed plover, in spite of the difference in their appearances. We will simply have to refer to them as a male little ringed plover and a female little ringed plover.

What would you call a baby little ringed plover?

A little ringed plover juvenile is called a chick. A little ringed plover juvenile has long legs and a duller plumage.

What do they eat?

Little ringed plover adults and juveniles have a diet that consists of small crustaceans such as shrimps, and insects such as grasshoppers and crickets. These birds usually wait until their spot prey on the ground and quickly run up to it when the opportunity presents.

Are they dangerous?

While there are no threats to humans, these birds can be very aggressive towards other bird species, especially those that try to enter or come near their territory. Since the habitat range and feeding opportunities available for this species are scarce, they make sure to guard their territory.

Another adaptive method is the little ringed plover decoy nest which is used to escape predatory animals and birds.

Would they make a good pet?

It is unlikely that this bird species would a good pet even though it is natural that you would like to have one as a member of your family. Based on their behavioral instincts and habitat range, it is probably best to let this species and its subspecies live in the wild.

Did you know...

Subspecies include Charadrius dubius jerdoni and Charadrius dubius curonicus.

While the Charadrius dubius jerdoni is a resident species, the Charadrius dubius curonicus of North Africa is migratory.

The population of the little ringed plover is stable, although threatened by by the degradation of its habitat range.

The breeding season for this bird starts during the spring season.

Do little ringed plovers migrate?

The little ringed plover is a migratory species. These birds that inhabit Europe and North Africa migrate to the tropical parts of Africa during the winter season. They return to the breeding sites during the months of March and April. The birds inhabiting the Indian subcontinent (Charadrius dubius jerdoni), however, do not show any winter migration since the climate in south India suits them well and allows this species to be a year-long resident.

What is unique about the ringed plover's nest?

This bird species has adapted a technique called the little ringed plover false nests. The adults make a false nests in order to make sure that the clutch can be protected from predators.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our sarus crane facts andAustralian pelican facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our free printable little ringed plover coloring pages.

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