Red-capped Plover

Red-capped Plover on a small bank by flowing water

What does it look and sound like? This is a small shorebird. Brown above, reddish on the crown and nape, and with a white face and underparts, the Red-capped Plover cannot be confused with any other shorebird regularly found in Australia. The vagrant Kentish Plover C. alexandrinus has a white collar around the nape. The call is a faintly trilled ‘tik’ or ‘twink’.

Where does it live? It is a common sight throughout coastal and inland Australia and is widely distributed throughout the country and islands.

What are its habitats and habits? It feeds mainly on insects, which are caught on the drier shores of lakes, estuaries, marshes and beaches; it seldom wades for food. While feeding, a Red-capped Plover runs rapidly along the ground, stopping suddenly to snatch prey from the surface.  

Scientific name: Charadrius ruficapillus

Size: 14 to 16.5 cm

Do you want to know the best places to go to see this species? Check out our book “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots” – available for purchase through our secure online store