Red-capped Plover Charadrius ruficapillus
(aka Red-capped Dotterel)
Red-capped Plover, The Coorong, SA, Australia, February 2006 - click for larger image The Coorong, SA, Australia
February 2006

The Red-capped Plover is endemic to Australasia and does not seem to migrate any distance. It is found on broad beaches and tidal mudflats as well as on the edges of inland wetlands.

Red-capped Plover, The Coorong, SA, Australia, February 2006 - click for larger image It look similar to Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus but it lacks the white collar round the back of the neck. For a time it was included as a sub-species of Kentish Plover but it is now treated as a seperate species.

In breeding plumage, as seen in photos 1 and 2, it shows a red-brown crown and nape with black margins. The forehead is white and there is a black line from the eye to the bill. The bill and legs are black.

Red-capped Plover, The Coorong, SA, Australia, February 2006 - click for larger image Breeding females are similar to males but are more likely to show a grey tinge on the centre of the crown. Non-breeding plumage is duller and lacks the black margins. Juveniles and first winter birds are duller with a scaly look to the upperparts.
Red-capped Plover, The Coorong, SA, Australia, February 2006 - click for larger image
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