Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Near Threatened

Chestnut-banded Plover (Charadrius pallidus)


French: Pluvier élégant German: Rotband-Regenpfeifer Spanish: Chorlitejo pálido
Other common names: Chestnut-banded Sandplover

Charadrius pallidus


, 1852,

Walvis Bay, Namibia


Considerable confusion with nomenclature in the past: name C. pallidus was considered synonymous with C. (alexandrinus) marginatus; present species was known as C. venustus, and S race as C. v. rufocinctus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. p. venustus G. A. Fischer & Reichenow, 1884 – Rift Valley soda-lakes on Kenya–Tanzania border.
  • C. p. pallidus Strickland, 1853 – coast from SW Angola patchily round to Mozambique; also inland locally in N Namibia, N Botswana and CN South Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm; nominate 28–44 g, venustus 20–37 g. Proportionately long legs; black frontal bar, eyestripe and lores and chestnut band on forecrown joined to... read more


    Rather silent. Most-frequently heard calls a short fairly soft “pit” and a doubled “pidup” or... read more


    Prefers saltpans, alkaline lakes and coastal lagoons and estuaries; habitat often of ephemeral... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on insects (sometimes caught in flight) and small crustaceans along the water’s edge. Very active in early morning, in Kenya... read more


    Lays Apr–Oct in E Africa, at end of rains and afterwards; Sept in Mozambique; Jul in Namibia; Mar–May and Sept–Jan,... read more


    Probably partial migrant and nomadic; makes local movements when breeding habitat dries up. In E... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Listed as Vulnerable in Namibia. Overall population most recently suggested to number c. 17,800 individuals.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Chestnut-banded Plover (Charadrius pallidus). 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 21 February 2020).