Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Least Concern

Madagascar Three-banded Plover (Charadrius bifrontatus)


French: Pluvier de Madagascar German: Grauwangen-Regenpfeifer Spanish: Chorlitejo malgache
Other common names: Grey-fronted Plover

Charadrius (Aegialites [sic]) bifrontatus


, 1882,



Hitherto considered conspecific with C. tricollaris, but differs in its grey (not white) forehead (2); white anterior forecrown vs forecrown almost entirely brown (2); darker brown rest of crown (ns[1]); darker grey face, throat and uppermost breast, leaving only a small greyish-white area on chin and upper throat vs pale grey face and largely whitish chin, throat and upper breast (2); broader, greyer-topped lower breastband (ns[2]); slightly longer tarsus (effect size 1.83; score 1). Along with C. tricollaris and C. forbesi, sometimes separated in genus Afroxyechus. Monotypic.



Descriptive notes

c. 18 cm; 33·5–35 g (male), 37–43·5 g (female). Sexes alike. Has broad greyish-brown band over bill, with white band above this that continues as... read more


Most-frequently heard call a fluty, shrill, plaintive bisyllabic “teewit” or “pee-pit”, or more... read more


Favours freshwater wetlands, especially edges of streams and rivers, but also muddy ponds in open... read more

Food and feeding

Nothing known, although diet is presumably similar to that of continental African C. tricollaris. Foraging behaviour also poorly... read more


Not well studied. Seasonality known from comparatively few data but probably most of year, except during rains, thus records of breeding in... read more


Generally resident, but occasional records from C plateau (e.g. L Itasy, Antananarivo) suggest some... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Population estimated at 10,000–30,000 individuals, trend not definitely known, but suspected to be declining given increasing... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Madagascar Three-banded Plover (Charadrius bifrontatus). 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 27 February 2020).