Lesser Sand Plover

The Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus) is a species of wading bird found in the Himalayas and infrequently across the bare coastal plains of northeastern Siberia. It has also been found in Alaska. It is migratory and winters on sandy beaches in East Africa, south Asia and Australia. There are five races of Lesser Sand Plover. In the eastern part of its range, this species is commonly accepted as the Mongolian Plover. Though the official British Ornithologists’ Union spelling is Lesser Sand Plover, it is sometimes commonly spelled as Lesser Sandplover.

The adult is chunky, long-legged and long-billed. The breeding male has a gray back and white underparts. Breast, forehead and nape are chestnut colored, and there is a black eye mask. The female is duller and lacks the chestnut coloring in the winter. The young lack the chestnut color as well. The legs are dark and the bill is black.

The diet of the Lesser Sand Plover consists of insects, crustaceans and annelid worms, which are taken by a run-and-pause technique, rather the steady probing of other wading birds. The nest is a bare scrape in the ground. The female lays three eggs. The flight call is a hard trill.

The Lesser Sand Plover is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

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