Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide

Kentish Plover

Charadrius alexandrinus
Waders Menu
The Kentish Plover shows little fear of people and will tolerate them in close proximity. It tends to run and appear more active than the other ringed plovers.
Order: Charadriiformes

Family: Charadriidae

Genus:  Charadrius

Species: C. alexandrinus
Female Kentish Plover feeding.
Note the distinctive rufous-ginger cap. Unlike the Ringed and Little Ringed plovers the black on the side of the birds breast is not a continuous band across the breast, however on occasions the band does just meet in the middle, as can be seen in the image below.
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The female Kentish Plover lacks the black markings of the male. She appears as a very pale bird. The black legs distinguish her from the other ringed plovers.
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In winter the birds black markings are much duller. The birds cap is no longer rufous-ginger and is a similar colour to the birds back.
Note the dark bill and legs of this female bird. The birds underside looks very white and this particular bird is mostly grey on the back.

The Kentish Plover in summer plumage has a brown back, rufous-ginger cap, white underside, and a black bar either side of the breast.

Adult Male (Summer)
Adult Male (Winter)
Kentish Plover female
Kentish Plover identification
*All dark bill
*Dark legs
*Rufous-ginger cap (dull in winter)
White underside
*Black side markings
Kentish Plover male in summer plumage
Kentish Plover flying with wing bars
Brown back and upperparts
Kentish Plover flying showing white underside
Mostly white underside in flight
Adult Female
Greyish-brown back and upperparts
*Dark legs
White underside
*All dark bill
Kentish Plover male in winter plumage
Kentish Plover female
Breeding distribution
Probably breeding
Probably breeding
Confirmed to be breeding in this area
Confirmed breeding sites
Breeding distribution of Kentish Plover
General distribution:
Stopped breeding in the UK in 1955. And is now only a rare passage visitor to Southern England. Widespread in coastal areas of Europe.
Breeds on sandy areas near the sea, but sometimes near freshwater. Mostly seen on tidal estuaries when on passage.
*Key ID points
Thanks to: (Modified)
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