Double-banded Plover

Common name
Double-banded Plover
Scientific name
Charadrius bicinctus
Size – beak to tail
17 – 19 cm
Wing span
Birds of the Bluff
Page 14
Where to find
Coastal beaches, mudflats, sewage farms, river banks, dunes and upland tussock grasses. The local mudflats are popular feeding areas and they may roost on sandy beaches.
The Double-banded Plover is a small wader. The upper body is brown with white underparts and a cream stripe through the eye. When the birds first arrive on the estuary, the vestiges of  two chest bands may be seen. The impressive orange/brown chest band is separated from a dark band on the lower neck. Young birds do not have the bands. Some birds may moult into their breeding plumage with two bands prior to returning to New Zealand.

The Double-banded Plover differs from the migratory waders from the Northern Hemisphere as it arrives in autumn and departs for the breeding grounds in New Zealand by late winter. They eat molluscs, insects and sometimes seeds and fruit.