Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Least Concern

African Three-banded Plover (Charadrius tricollaris)


French: Pluvier à triple collier German: Dreiband-Regenpfeifer Spanish: Chorlitejo tricollar
Other common names: Three-banded Plover (when lumped with C. bifrontatus)

Charadrius tricollaris


, 1818,

Cape Town, South Africa


Hitherto considered conspecific with C. bifrontatus. Otherwise probably closest to C. forbesi, with which sometimes treated as conspecific; these three taxa sometimes separated in genus Afroxyechus. Proposed race pelodromus (S Mozambique) is included within tricollaris. Monotypic.


Egypt (recently colonized)#R#R, and Eritrea to Tanzania, S DRCongo and Gabon, and S to South Africa; non-breeding also around L Chad.

Descriptive notes

c. 18 cm; 25–49 g. Small, dark plover with red eye-ring, distinguished from C. forbesi by white forehead, paler upperparts and red bill with black tip. Sexes... read more


Most-frequently heard call a short metallic high-pitched “peet!”, when excited given in fast series... read more


Firm gravelly or sometimes muddy ground along edges of inland freshwater lakes, pools, streams and... read more

Food and feeding

Terrestrial and aquatic insects and their larvae, crustaceans, small molluscs and worms. Often feeds at water’s edge, picking up food... read more


Breeds opportunistically, but mainly lays Apr–Sept in tropics, Jul–Dec further S, e.g. May, Aug and Dec in Ethiopia, Mar–... read more


Essentially resident, showing some erratic movements, but movements poorly known; more widespread... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Population in E & S Africa estimated at 70,000–130,000 individuals. Total of c. 750 birds recorded on coasts of South... read more

Recommended citation

Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M., Christie, D.A. & Boesman, P. (2020). African Three-banded Plover (Charadrius tricollaris). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 February 2020).