Red-capped Plover

Information about the Bird Red-capped Plover

It breeds in Australia. The species is closely related to (and sometimes considered conspecific with) the Kentish plover, Javan plover and white-fronted plover.The red-capped plover (Charadrius ruficapillus), also known as the red-capped dotterel, is a small plover.

Red-capped plovers have white underparts and forehead. Their upperparts are mainly grey-brown. Adult males have a rufous or reddish-brown crown and hindneck. Adult females have a paler rufous and grey-brown crown and hindneck, with a pale loreal stripe. The upperwing of Charadrius ruficapillus shows dark brown remiges (flight feathers) and primary covert feathers with a white wingbar in flight. Its length is 14-16cm and its wingspan is 27-34cm; and weighs 35-40 g.
Breeding plumage shows a red-brown crown and nape with black margins. Non-breeding plumage is duller and lacks the black margins.
The red-capped plover is widespread in Australia; it is a vagrant to New Zealand, although it bred there for some time in small numbers from 1950-1980. The species occupies a range of coastal and inland habitats, including estuaries, bays, beaches, sandflats and mudflats; inland saline wetlands. It is also found in inland wetland areas with bare ground.
Mainly small invertebrates, especially molluscs, crustaceans and worms.
The red-capped plover is a seasonal breeder on the coasts of Australia, but breeds in response to unpredictable rains inland. The plover nests on the ground close to wetlands; the nest is a small depression in the ground, with minimal or no lining. The clutch of two pale yellowish-brown eggs are speckled with black spots. Incubation period 30 days; incubating is mainly done by the female. Upon hatching, the young are open-eyed, mobile and relatively mature (precocial); and flee the nest (nidifugous).
With a large range and no evidence of significant population decline, this species' conservation status is of Least Concern.

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