T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Plover (Double banded) Charadrius bicinctus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Genus: Charadrius
Species: C. bicinctus
Binomial name: Charadrius bicinctus
Subspecies: Charadrius bicinctus bicinctus, Charadrius bicinctus exilis
Common names: Banded dotterel, Double-banded plover, tūturiwhatu, tuturiwhatu, pohowera

Charadrius bicinctusis is a New Zealand species of bird in the plover family. There are two subspecies: Charadrius bicinctus bicinctus which breeds in New Zealand, and the Chatham Islands while Charadrius bicinctus exilis breeds in the Auckland Islands.
Charadrius bicinctusis is spread throughout New Zealand. Its habitats are the seashore, estuaries and riverbeds. They breed only in New Zealand though a few migrate to close southern countries such as Tasmania and South Australia.

Charadrius bicinctusis is a small, compact, brown and white plover, 60g in weight and has a length of 20 cm. It has a short black bill, relatively long dark legs and large round dark brown eyes. Breeding males have a broad chestnut breast band with a narrow black neck band above it; females have both bands but they are duller. Although their plumage varies seasonally, they are readily identified by their brown upperparts and complete or partial chestnut breast band. 
They are predominantly opportunistic carnivores, feeding on aquatic invertebrates and other insects along the coast lines or rivers. They have also been known to consume berries off various nearby shrubs such as Coprosma and Muehlenbeckia.

Banded Dotterel photographed at Enderby Island, Subantarctic
Photo courtesy of Tamzin Henderson@www.tamzinnz.com
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Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/