Common ringed plovers are small waders, which suddenly seem to appear on an apparently empty beach; brightly patterned, yet not conspicuous. A species of the sub-arctic coastline, they breed on wide, sandy flats known as Machair in the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland, where they perform a curious slow-winged ‘butterfly’ flight accompanied by a wheezing call.
Numbers declined during the twentieth century, with the rise in seaside recreation, although ringed plovers managed a degree of damage limitation by diversifying inland to farmland, reservoirs and gravel pits.
Scientific name: Charadrius hiaticula
The following habitats are found across the Common ringed plover 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
Year assessed: 2009
Classified by: IUCN 3.1