RSPB
Skip navigation

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.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Charadrius hiaticula

Family

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

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-5,300-5,600 pairs36,000 birds-

Distribution

Key

Audio

Marco Dragonetti, Xeno-canto

Find out more