Little Ringed Plover

Charadrius dubius

  1. Wildlife
  2. Birds
  3. Wading birds
  4. Little Ringed Plover


A small, rotund wading bird, the little ringed plover nests on bare gravel around flooded gravel pits, sandy riverbanks and reservoirs. It is a migrant species, arriving in this country in mid-March and leaving again in July.

How to identify

Daintier than the ringed plover, the little ringed plover has a black bill, pale, creamy-brown legs and a bright yellow ring around the eye. It is sandy-brown above, white below, with a black chest-band and black bridle markings on the head. When it flies, it has only a very thin, pale wingbar.

Where to find it

A summer visitor to England and Wales.


When to find it

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July

How can people help

Little ringed plovers are a success story, breeding here as suitable habitats became available. They are not currently declining, but their wetland and coastal homes are under threat from development, drainage and pollution. The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities and be helping local wildlife along the way. And don't forget to keep dogs on leads in areas where ground-nesting birds are breeding.

Species information

Common name
Little Ringed Plover
Latin name
Charadrius dubius
Wading birds
Length: 14-16cm Wingspan: 45cm Weight: 40g Average Lifespan: 4 years
Conservation status