Fun Kentish Plover Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Kentish Plover Facts For Kids

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The Kentish plover, Charadrius alexandrinus, is a bird from the family of Charadriidae, with a wide geographic distribution all over the world. These birds are most crowded at the beaches and coasts. The birds commonly nest on river banks, seashores, or populating sand dunes where the soil is moist and distant from thick vegetation and human buildings. They mostly avoid dense forests and prefer open beaches.

These birds have gray-brown backs, white throat and breast, long and dark bills, and long legs. Both sexes of this species look the same and are difficult to differentiate. They can fly up to 9842 ft (3000 m) altitude and are natural insecticides. That is, they prey on anthropods and invertebrates. During winter, they are migrating birds taking flight from Britain and parts of western Asia and breeds in Ethiopia. Kentish plover's populations are threatened by climate changes, resulting in the loss of breeding ground. The rise in global warming and crowded human activity on beaches holds these birds from breeding and feeding. Moreover, they are hunted by ground predators like foxes and dogs.

Also, read about the astonishing facts about American golden plover birds and mountain plover birds.

Fun Kentish Plover Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Arthropods and invertebrates

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.06-0.13 lb (30-60 g)

How long are they?

6-6.7 in (15.2-17 cm)

How tall are they?

17.3 in (44 cm)

What do they look like?

Gray-brown back, white underparts, dark black legs, and beak

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Foxes And Dogs, Loss Of Natural Habitat

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Lakes, Rivers, Wetlands, Coast, Semi-arid Deserts


Africa, Europe, Asia









Kentish Plover Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Kentish plover?

The Kentish plover, Charadrius alexandrinus, is a small-sized shorebird from the family of three dozen species of plovers, Charadriidae. The Kentish plovers have other species in the sub-family known as the snowy plover, white-faced plover, and little ringed plover birds found in North America.

What class of animal does a Kentish plover belong to?

Charadrius alexandrinus, Kentish plovers, belong to the kingdom of Animalia, class of Aves, order Charadriiformes, the family of  Charadriidae, and genus Charadrius.

How many Kentish plovers are there in the world?

On an estimation, there are approx 10,000-50,000 mature Charadrius alexandrinus, Kentish plover bird populations in the world. The overall number of these species is gradually decreasing due to climatic changes all over the world.

Where does a Kentish plover live?

A Kentish plover bird nests on moist grounds rather than tree-tops. These birds build their nest in the sand on the coasts. The nests are build using small stones, broken shells, fish bones, grass, and small-sized twigs. The birds breed only when the nest is properly built. When the chicks are grown, they brood the nesting and fly away. They are not endemic and can be found all over the world.

What is a Kentish plover's habitat?

The Kentish plover populations, Charadrius alexandrinus, can breed in a wide variety of habitats which includes wetlands, streams, brackish lakes, rivers, seashores, coastlines, marshy waters, lagoons, marine lakes during the breeding season and are also found in flocks, in temperate grasslands and semi-arid deserts having tundra vegetation. The plovers are naturally not found in dense forests; rather, they are seen near human activities. The birds might also breed in agricultural ponds and artificial reservoirs.

Who does a Kentish plover live with?

The Kentish plover bird population resides near human activities, thus has a social nature. They live with other species of birds nesting along the coast and beaches. The neighbor shorebirds include lapwings, plover, oystercatcher, sandpiper, phalarope, avocet, snipe, and pratincole.

How long does a Kentish plover live?

A Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) bird has a maximum life span of five years. They are considered rare in most ranges, mostly in North America, where the snowy plover is more popular. However, due to habitat destruction, global warming, adverse climatic changes, and human disturbance, their life span is affected.

How do they reproduce?

The Kentish plover, Charadrius alexandrinus, species are often monogamous, or breeding is only between pairs. The bird presents courtship by building the nest and flat running. Sometimes, polygamous behavior is also exhibited where an extra pair of birds are noticed. After the nest is prepared, the female bird lays three eggs, sometimes four with dark spots in them. The pair then equally incubate the eggs for 20-25 days before hatching them into chicks. Seldom, one of the parents may abandon the brood after hatching the eggs, leaving only a single parent to incubate the eggs into chicks. The plover breeds in different months, depending on their local habitats. The breeding season is from April to May in Europe and March to June in north-western Africa.

What is their conservation status?

The Kentish plover bird, Charadrius alexandrinus, is not on the red list for now, which means their conservation status is of Least Concern. There are approximately one million to five million birds of this species all over the world. But, their numbers are on a falling graph, as with rising global warming, the plover population is losing their breeding ground and facing loss in their natural habitat.

Kentish Plover Fun Facts

What does Kentish plover look like?

The Kentish plover, Charadrius alexandrinus, birds have gray-brown upper backs, white underparts in throat and breast, dark black and long beck, pale and stiff long legs, and black eyeballs. The head crown is black, and there is a white stripe on their forehead. There is a blackish bar on both sides of the breast region. At the time of wintering, the upper parts and top of the head changes to pale grayish-brown color, and the plumage also discolors. The males and females have similar plumage and therefore are hard to differentiate. The males have brown feathers on their upper bodies. During the flight, their wings are black with a strong white wing band.

Kentish Plover

How cute are they?

These little cosmopolitan lapwing birds are not so cute, but they are commonly found strolling on coastal ranges. They have white throat and breast and grayish-brown backs giving them an identical look.

How do they communicate?

It is amazing how the Kentish plover, Charadrius alexandrinus, communicates in a short and soft 'pitt, pitt' call. Their alert call, also called the 'kittup' call, is commonly heard when they are in flight or on the ground. The birds have a different panic call which is represented as a twanging and metallic, 'dwee-dwee-dweedweedwee' sound. The call of these birds resembles that of snowy plovers.

How big is a Kentish plover?

The Kentish plover, Charadrius alexandrinus, is a small-sized bird with an average size of 6-6.7 in (15.2-17 cm) and has a wingspan of 17.3 in (44 cm) of a fully mature bird. They are slightly bigger in size compared to snowy plovers and also have a bigger wingspan. They are almost twice the size of mountain plover birds.

How fast can a Kentish plover fly?

Kentish plover birds fly at an average speed. While resting on the beaches, flocks of these birds are often disturbed by humans or dogs; thus, they have to take flight. They cover large ground areas in their flight during migration.

How much does a Kentish plover weigh?

On average, a Kentish plover, Charadrius alexandrinus, bird weighs 0.06-0.13 lb (30-60 g). They have light-weighted bodies due to hollow bones and plumage of gray-brown feathers.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to the male and female species of the Kentish plover bird. The males and the females are almost identical, except the breeding males sometimes may have a black forehead and dark inadequate breast bands.

What would you call a baby Kentish plover?

A baby plover is called a hatchling or nestings. The parent plovers incubate the eggs before they hatch and feed the young ones until they are mature. There is no specific name given to the chicks to these bird species. The young plovers look like white cotton balls when they are just born.

What do they eat?

The Kentish plover birds, Charadrius alexandrinus, feeds on insects like worms, beetles, velvet ants, spiders, grasshoppers, flies, termites, and mollusks as their chief food. They are insectivorous and prey on arthropods and invertebrates on the dry surface and the muddy coast. They use a run and stop system to hunt these insects.

Are they dangerous?

The plover birds are not dangerous at all, but they prey on insects in both range, land and air. They also become aggressive to protect their nests from other shorebirds. They flee when encountered by approaching humans or predators like foxes and dogs.

Would they make a good pet?

These birds cannot make good pets because eventually, they cannot survive in a building environment. The plovers crave coastal life and having a short life span they should be let free in the open air. They are seen preying or flying in flocks which is more soothing to watch rather than being caged. Moreover, breeding in a cage is not possible for them.

Did you know...

The bird is called 'Kentish' plover, although the bird does not breed any more in Kent or even Great Britain.

The Charadrius alexandrinus was once universally recognized as included in the North American snowy plover species. Still, later through research, it was shown that both the species differ in many aspects.

These species are partly migrating birds. They winter in central India, South Korea, and Southeast Asia. The plovers in northern areas of their range do migrate. They migrate to the southern regions for wintering.

How many species of plovers are there?

Plovers have vast geographical distribution in the world. There are approximately 66 species of plover populations in the sub-family. Some of the most seen species include Kentish plovers, little ringed plovers, snowy plovers, Malaysian plovers, red-faced plovers, and many others.

Where do plovers live in the world?

The Kentish plover or snowy plover species are widely distributed in many places around the map. These birds can live and breed in multiple territories. The breeding ground of the birds includes Asia, Africa, and Europe. In Asia, the bird's flight over central and eastern Asia, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and parts of south-east Asia territory.  The plovers also breed on the northern coast and beaches of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. This bird species is not often seen in Britain now as they migrate to South Africa during winter and are also rarely found in Australia. Snowy plovers belonging to their sub-family resides in North America.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these great crested flycatcher fun facts and American bittern interesting facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Kentish plover birds coloring pages.

Written By
Ayan Banerjee

<p>Thanks to his degree in nautical science from T.S. Chanakya, IMU Navi Mumbai Campus, Ayan excels at producing high-quality content across a range of genres, with a strong foundation in technical writing. Ayan's contributions as an esteemed member of the editorial board of The Indian Cadet magazine and a valued member of the Chanakya Literary Committee showcase his writing skills. In his free time, Ayan stays active through sports such as badminton, table tennis, trekking, and running marathons. His passion for travel and music also inspire his writing, providing valuable insights.</p>

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