Red-capped Plovers, also known as the Red-capped Dotterels

Red-capped Plover female

Red-capped PloversThe Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus), also known as the Red-capped Dotterel, is a small plover closely related to the Kentish Plover.


White underparts and forehead; upperparts mainly grey-brown. Adult male has rufous crown and hindneck.

Adult female has paler rufous and grey brown crown and hindneck, with pale loral stripe (= loral area is the area between beak and eyes). Upperwing shows dark brown remiges (flight feathers - typically only visible in flight) and primary coverts with white wingbar in flight.

Measurements: length 14-16 cm; wingspan 27-34 cm; weight 35-40 g.


Widespread in Australia; straggler to New Zealand

Red-capped PloverHabitat

Coastal estuaries, bays, beaches, sandflats and mudflats; inland saline wetlands.


Mainly small invertebrates, especially mollusks, crustaceans and worms.


Nests on ground in vicinity of wetlands; nest a small depression with no minimal lining. Clutch of 2 pale yellowish-brown eggs, irregularly spotted black. Incubation period 30 days; incubating mainly done by female. Young precocial and nidifugous.

Red-capped Plover chick


With a large range and no evidence of significant population decline, this species’ conservation status is of Least Concern.

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