Red-capped Plover

The Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus) also known as the Red-capped Dotterel, is a species of bird closely related to the Kentish Plover. It is widespread throughout Australia and sometimes may visit New Zealand. Its habitat is coastal estuaries, bays, beaches, sandflats, mudflats, and inland saline wetlands. Due to its large range and no significant population decline, this species is evaluated as Least Concern.

The adult is 14 to 16 inches in length with a wingspan of 10.75 to 13.5 inches and a weight of 1.25 to 1.5 ounces. The underparts and forehead are white. The upperparts are mainly gray-brown. The adult male has a reddish-brown crown and hind neck. The adult female has paler crown and hind neck, with a pale stripe between the eye and bill. The upperwing shows dark brown flight feathers and primary coverts with white wingbar.

The diet of the Red-capped Plover consists of small invertebrates, particularly mollusks, crustaceans, and worms. This bird nests on the ground near wetlands. The nest is a small depression with minimal lining. The female lays 2 pale yellow-brown eggs that are irregularly spotted black. Incubation lasts 30 days and is done mainly by the female. The young are precocial (able to move about freely at birth), and leave the nest soon after.

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