Conservation status: Amber
The ringed plover is a small, dumpy, short-legged wading bird. It is brownish grey above and whitish below. It has a orange bill, tipped with black, orange legs and a black-and-white pattern on its head and breast. In flight it shows a broad white wing-stripe. Breeds on beaches around the coast, but has also now breeding inland in sand and gravel pits and former industrial sites. Many UK birds live here all year round, but birds from Europe winter in Britain and birds from Greenland and Canada pass through on migration.
Ringed plover - breeding plumage
Ringed plover - non-breeding plumage
Ringed plover - juvenile
Ringed plover - in flight
Plovers and lapwings (Charadriidae)
Where to see them
You can see this species on suitable beaches and coasts around the UK - look for it at RSPB coastal reserves. Inland, look for it at flooded gravel pits.
When to see them
All year round
What they eat
Flies, spiders, marine worms, crustaceans, molluscs
|Europe||UK breeding*||UK wintering*||UK passage*|
|-||5,300-5,600 pairs||36,000 birds||-|