Kingdom Animalia
Click to hear the call  Click to watch the video
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Charadriidae
Genus Charadrius
Species alexandrinus
Classification Linnaeus, 1758
Common name kentish plover
Size 15 - 17 centimeters
Apertura Alare 42 - 58 centimeters
Male weight 40 - 60 grams
Female weight 40 - 60 grams

Geographic Range North America, Central American islands, South America, Asia, Europe, North Africa.
Physical Characteristics it is a small bird. The upper parts of its body are light grey, the lower ones are white. It has dark stripes on the breast sides, and black spots below its forehead and behind its eyes. The young have a plumage similar to that of the adults but dark spots are missing. Because of the colour of the plumage it is difficult to distinguish them from the sand on which they build their nest and the absence of dark spots protects the young even more. Adult males have a white forehead and a black neckband. The female looks a lot like the male, but black zones are substituted by brown ones. In both sexes the paws are big and dark grey, the eyes are big and black.
Behaviour in order to feed, it sometimes lowers its head walking with its beak open and catches the insects that are on the ground level. One more method is that of turning over wet ground with its paws to find insects in the underlying layer. The kentish plover sleeps with its beak and its head folded under the feathers. Both sexs actively defend their nidification territory chasing and fighting with intruders, even if males tend to be more aggressive than females. Frequent fights take place if clutches are threatened: during the fights the kentish plover can grasp the enemy's tail with its beak to pull feathers.When predators go near the nest, the aduts warn the young with cries and they answer curling up in the nest and standing still, while bigger chicks reach their parents. During winter it is a social bird and forms flocks of even 300 individuals.
Habitat it is found on beaches, dunes, littoral lagoons, tidal flats, salt plains, salt ponds. On the beaches, the kentish plover collects food in the intertidal zone.
Food habits it feeds mainly on insects, molluscs, crustaceans, worms.
Migration continental species tend to be migratory, while In Italy it is nesting, regular migrator and wintering. When the breedding season is over it migrates towards southern Mediterranean and African coastal zones.
Nidification nidification takes place near the water preferably on dry or sandy ground. In this area the male digs several holes in the ground and the female chooses one of them. The hole is then strengthened with small pebbles and shell fragments. Three eggs are usually laid. Both sexes take care of them and the incubation normally lasts 26-32 days during which the female looks after the nest during the day, the male during the night. On the surface of the eggs small creaks begin to appear 8 days before the birth. The little strokes of the chicks' beaks can be heard 3 -4 days before. The young are precocious and nidifugous and generally come to light between June and July.
Status in the lagoon it is found on emergent sandy grounds and slimy mud flats. The most important wintering area is the "Bacan" in S. Erasmo, besides artificial salt marshes in Chioggia and Caorle’s lagoon in the zone of Porto Baseleghe. They can be found in a smaller number along littorals, in the area included between the mouths of Sile and Lido’s canal.

References Descrizione dell'Oasi di Ca' Roman nel sito della LIPU di Venezia
University of Michigan - Museum of Zoology
I censimenti degli uccelli svernanti in Provincia di Venezia - a cura di M. Bon e G. Cherubini - Provincia di Venezia, Assessorato Caccia e Pesca.
Web References http://www.provincia.venezia.it/lipuve/caroma.htm
Source of the photo http://www.fehm.es/canpicafort/parque.htm
Source of the call http://www.oiseaux.net/
Source of the video http://www.hbw.com/ibc/

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