Double-banded Plover

The Double-banded Plover (Charadrius bicinctus) is a species of wading bird that is fairly common in southern New Zealand. It is not often seen in northern New Zealand. Its habitat is beaches, mud flats, grasslands and bare ground. It is also known as the Banded Dotterel in New Zealand.

There are two subspecies: the nominate Charadrius bicinctus bicinctus breeding in New Zealand and the
Chatham Islands and Charadrius bicinctus exilis breeding in the Auckland Islands. The northern populations migrate south to extreme southern New Zealand and the Chatham Islands, and possibly in Australia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji. The Auckland Island subspecies is mainly resident, but some birds will move closer to the shore in winter.

The adult is 7 inches in length. The breeding plumage is white with a dark gray-brown back. The breast is brown. There is a thin band of black below the neck, and between the eyes and beak. The young have no bands and are often speckled brown on the top, and have less white parts.

The eggs of this species are gray with black speckling that makes them well camouflaged against river stones and pebbles, which make up the main structure of the nest.