Family Plovers (Charadriidae)


Shore Plover (Thinornis novaeseelandiae)


French: Pluvier de Nouvelle-Zélande German: Chathamregenpfeifer Spanish: Chorlitejo de las Chatham
Other common names: Shore Dotterel

Charadrius novæ-Seelandiæ

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Dusky Sound, South Island, New Zealand


Type locality previously given as Queen Charlotte Sound (NE South I), but correct locality is Dusky Sound (SW South I)#R. Monotypic.


Chatham Is: breeds on Rangatira I (South East I), off Pitt I; recently extinct Western Reefs, off Chatham I; birds recently translocated from Rangatira to Mangere I have led to establishment of a small breeding population on latter island#R. Formerly probably in South I and possibly North I, New Zealand; captive-reared birds released on some N New Zealand islands.

Descriptive notes

c. 20 cm; 52–69 g. Distinctive small, chubby plover, with proportions not unlike Arenaria interpres; black head, except grey-brown crown encircled by white... read more


Quite vocal. Most-frequently heard call a loud, ringing “kleet”, “peep” or “splew”, which in... read more


Rocky shores with extensive wave-cut platforms containing shallow tidal pools, sometimes covered... read more

Food and feeding

Small crustaceans (e.g. copepods), spiders, gastropods, bivalves and insects of rocky shores; takes Hemiptera, caterpillars and larvae on... read more


Lays mid-Oct to Dec, with replacement clutches until Jan; breeding synchronized amongst pairs in same area. Monogamous on long-term basis.... read more


Sedentary; local movements of small flocks in non-breeding season. Juveniles very mobile... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Considered Critically Endangered by the New Zealand authorities. Total population in 1993 was c. 130 birds, including 43–44 breeding pairs, then 94 pairs in... read more

Recommended citation

Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Shore Plover (Thinornis novaeseelandiae). 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 28 February 2020).