Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Least Concern

Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)


French: Pluvier à face noire German: Schwarzstirn-Regenpfeifer Spanish: Chorlitejo frentinegro
Other common names: Black-fronted Plover

Charadrius melanops


, 1818,

New South Wales, Australia




Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand.

Descriptive notes

16–18 cm; 27–42 g; wingspan 33–35 cm. Strikingly coloured, slim plover; black eyestripe and lores continuing onto forecrown; white supercilia join on nape;... read more


Most-frequently heard call a repeated short, emphatic “pit”. On breeding grounds, several reedy... read more


Bare or sparsely vegetated margins of wetlands, freshwater or sometimes brackish, on areas with mud... read more

Food and feeding

Water snails, crustaceans, earthworms and insects, such as crickets, grasshoppers, flies, ants, water beetles and larvae, occasionally... read more


Season Sept–Feb in Australia, Aug–Mar in New Zealand, but can occur earlier or later owing to variable conditions, e.g. of rain... read more


Poorly known in Australia, but apparently mainly sedentary, although there is evidence of... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Has recently expanded range due to development of new suitable habitat resulting from construction of artificial wetlands, such as... read more

Recommended citation

Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops). 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 22 January 2020).