Portrait of a killdeer plover

Ringed plovers

Ringed plovers are a group of small wading birds known for their breast bands or collars. Catching insects and other invertebrates by sight they employ a run-and-pause technique; other waders, with longer bills, prefer to feel and probe. Widely distributed throughout the world there are over 30 species of ringed plover.

Those of us in the United Kingdom will be most familiar with the little ringed plover, common ringed plover and the dotterel. Less familiar species include the Saint Helena plover and South America's puna plover.

Scientific name: Charadrius

Rank: Genus


Map showing the distribution of the Ringed plovers taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.


The following habitats are found across the Ringed plovers distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web