The Red-capped Plovers are small waders. The upper body is light brown with white underparts. The bill and legs are black. The male has a bright orange/red cap with a dark stripe through the eye while the female is less boldly marked. In flight there is a clear white wing bar and white outer tail.
They are breeding residents with nest scrapes in sandy areas where there are some shell fragments, washed up seaweed and rubbish. This helps camouflage the speckled eggs and protects them from predators. They forage for small invertebrates by using their characteristic ‘stop-run-pick’ method.