Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Least Concern

Kittlitz's Plover (Charadrius pecuarius)


French: Pluvier pâtre German: Hirtenregenpfeifer Spanish: Chorlitejo pecuario
Other common names: Kittlitz's Sandplover

Charadrius pecuarius


, 1823,

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa


Probably most closely related to C. thoracicus and C. sanctaehelenae; often considered conspecific with latter. Various races have been proposed: allenbyi (from Egypt), isabellinus (Egypt to DRCongo, Kenya) and tephricolor (SW Africa and N Botswana), but variation is slight and mainly clinal, with overlap of characters, and reported sample sizes are small. Monotypic.


NE Egypt; sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal to Sudan and South Africa; Madagascar.

Descriptive notes

12–14 cm; 19–54 g; wingspan 40–44 cm. Black eyestripe, white super­cilium and dark brown upperparts with sandy-rufous fringes; breast and belly sandy... read more


Rather silent. Calls include a short hard “trip” or “tric” or plaintive “tu-lit” in flight. When... read more


From coast to uplands; primarily inland in varied flat, open habitats with poor soil, usually close... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly terrestrial invertebrates, chiefly insects (e.g. beetles, flies, bugs, grasshoppers and butterfly and moth larvae) and spiders; also... read more


Lays Apr in Egypt; very variable throughout rest of range, laying in 2–12 months of year, e.g. year-round in Madagascar, but mainly... read more


Generally resident, but locally makes seasonal movements, possibly related to seasonal rainfall and... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Population estimated at up to 475,000 birds, including 100,000–400,000 individuals in E, C & S Africa, with 20,000–50... read more

Recommended citation

Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Kittlitz's Plover (Charadrius pecuarius). 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).