Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Least Concern

Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)


French: Pluvier à collier interrompu German: Seeregenpfeifer Spanish: Chorlitejo patinegro

Charadrius alexandrinus


, 1758,



Until recently considered conspecific with C. dealbatus and C. nivosus; also probably close to C. marginatus, C. javanicus and C. ruficapillus, and all (especially C. javanicus) have on occasion been included within present species. Proposed race spatzi (from S Western Sahara) synonymized with nominate, and leggei (from E India) with seebohmi. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. alexandrinus Linnaeus, 1758 – E Atlantic Is, N Africa (S to Senegal) and W Europe E through Mediterranean, NE Africa, Middle East and SW & C Asia to Russian Far East, NE China and Japan; winters S to sub-Saharan Africa, S Asia and W Indonesia.
  • C. a. nihonensis Deignan, 1941 – Sakhalin, S Kuril Is and N Japan.
  • C. a. seebohmi E. J. O. Hartert & A. C. Jackson, 1915 – SE India and Sri Lanka.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–17·5 cm; 32–56 g; wingspan 42–45 cm. Differs from most similar species by white collar on hindneck; black patches on sides of breast, black bar on... read more


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


    Chiefly sea coasts, but also open flats near brackish or saline lakes, lagoons, seasonal water... read more

    Food and feeding

    Inland takes mainly insects, such as beetles and flies, also crustaceans, molluscs and spiders; in brackish and saltwater, chiefly... read more


    Laying mid Apr to May in NW Europe; Mar–Jun in NW Africa (e.g. Morocco); Jan to early Jun in Cape Verde Is, Feb–Jul in Ethiopia... read more


    Nominate race mainly migratory N of 40° N, dispersive and resident to S, e.g. in Arabia;... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Nominate race: c. 62,000–70,000 birds winter on E Atlantic and W Mediterranean coasts, among which minimum 6400–9600... read more

    Recommended citation

    Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus). 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 19 February 2020).