Family Plovers (Charadriidae)


St Helena Plover (Charadrius sanctaehelenae)


French: Pluvier de Sainte-Hélène German: St.-Helena-Regenpfeifer Spanish: Chorlitejo de Santa Elena
Other common names: Wirebird

Ægialitis sanctæhelenæ


, 1873,

St Helena


Probably most closely related to C. thoracicus and C. pecuarius; often considered conspecific with latter. Monotypic.


St Helena, in S Atlantic Ocean.

Descriptive notes

c. 15 cm. Resembles C. pecuarius, but larger, with longer bill and longer “wiry” legs (up to 40% longer); less buff on breast and on feather fringes of... read more


Similar to C. pecuarius. Calls include a short, soft “kee-vit” and a rattling sound in... read more


Widespread, particularly in flatter, more open upland habitats at medium elevations (to above 500 m... read more

Food and feeding

Very poorly known. Insects and snails recorded. Usually seen in pairs, rarely in groups of up to six birds, although newly fledged young... read more


Breeds mainly in drier part of year, late Sept to Jan, mainly Dec–Jan, possibly varying considerably between years, depending on... read more


Sedentary, although young birds may wander widely around the island.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Only occurs in northern, flatter parts of interior of St Helena; but distribution of species now shifting towards E, due to expansion of urban areas. Known from... read more

Recommended citation

Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M., Boesman, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). St Helena Plover (Charadrius sanctaehelenae). 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 January 2020).