Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Least Concern

Greater Sandplover (Charadrius leschenaultii)


French: Pluvier de Leschenault German: Wüstenregenpfeifer Spanish: Chorlitejo mongol grande

Charadrius Leschenaultii


, 1826,

Pondicherry, India


Transcaspian subspecies previously referred to as crassirostris, but that name invalid, as preoccupied, hence a replacement name, scythicus, erected#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. l. columbinus Wagler, 1829 – Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Armenia and Azerbaijan; winters Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and SE Mediterranean.
  • C. l. scythicus Carlos, Roselaar & Voisin, 2012 – Transcaspia and (possibly this race) NW Afghanistan to SE Kazakhstan; winters NE & E Africa to W India.
  • C. l. leschenaultii Lesson, 1826 – W China (Dzungaria), Mongolia, S Siberia (Tuva) and Altai Mts; winters S to S Asia and Australasia, probably also E Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    20–25 cm; 55–121 g; wingspan 44–60 cm. Medium-sized plover; larger than C. mongolus, with larger, broader head, larger bill, longer legs and... read more


    Most-frequently heard call a short rolling “trrri” or “trrrr”, sometimes given in rapid sequences... read more


    During breeding season predominantly found in deserts or semi-deserts, at lower altitudes than ... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly beetles, also molluscs (e.g. snails), worms, crustaceans (e.g. shrimps and crabs), other insects and their larvae (e.g. termites,... read more


    Lays Apr–May in C Asia, late Mar to late May in Turkey; unfledged chicks in late Jun in Armenia. Solitary. Male advertises territory... read more


    Migratory. Winters on shores of Australasia and Indian Ocean, but relation between breeding and non... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Population of race columbinus probably numbers fewer than 10,000 breeding birds, with 100–1000 pairs in Turkey and up... read more

    Recommended citation

    Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Greater Sandplover (Charadrius leschenaultii). 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).