Two-banded plover -- 双斑鸻 (Charadrius falklandicus)

Two-banded plover stood on sand amongst sea cabbage
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Two-banded plover fact file

Two-banded plover description

GenusCharadrius (1)

As its name suggests, the two-banded plover is readily distinguished from most other wading birds by the presence of two conspicuous black bands around its white throat and breast (2) (3) (4). A black bar across its forecrown separates the white of the forehead and lores, from the pale chestnut of the crown and hindneck (2). Although the sexes are similar in appearance (4), areas of black tend to be more brown on the female, while the crown is duller and the upper breast band flecked with white. Outside of the breeding season, the adult plumage is noticeably muted, with black markings replaced by grey and chestnut by grey-brown. The juvenile is similar in appearance to the non-breeding adult, but tends to have a darker face and more brown in its breast bands (2). Owing to the high frequency of birds with a broken upper breast band, the Falkland Islands population is thought possibly to merit classification as a separate subspecies (2) (3).

Also known as
Beach lark.
Length: 17 - 18.5 cm (2)
62 - 72 g (2)

Two-banded plover biology

The two-banded plover is known to feed on a variety of small invertebrates including polychaete worms, molluscs and crustaceans (2) (4) (5) (6). It mostly forages on the edges of surf and rockpools, or amongst rotting seaweed and coastal grasses (2) (4). Despite being a strong flier, rather than taking to the air, it usually flees from danger with an evasive run (4).

The nests are generally made in shallow scrapes in heath or grassland behind the beach (4), with most egg-laying occurring between September and December (2). Although the chicks leave the nest at an early age, it is common to see parents watchfully minding their offspring as they scurry along the beach (2).


Two-banded plover range

Breeding populations of the two-banded plover are restricted to Argentina, Chile, and the Falkland Islands, but many mainland birds migrate north as far as Uruguay and southern Brazil during the winter (2) (3) (4) (5).


Two-banded plover habitat

Found on sand beaches, estuaries, mud-flats, wet savannas, and the borders of ponds and streams in lowland areas (2) (3) (4).


Two-banded plover status

Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern


Two-banded plover threats

There are no major threats to the two-banded plover and its population appears to be stable (7).


Two-banded plover conservation

There are currently no known conservation measures in place for the two-banded plover.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

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Diverse group of arthropods (a phylum of animals with jointed limbs and a hard chitinous exoskeleton) characterised by the possession of two pairs of antennae, one pair of mandibles (parts of the mouthparts used for handling and processing food) and two pairs of maxillae (appendages used in eating, which are located behind the mandibles). Includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps, slaters, woodlice and barnacles.
Animals with no backbone.
The space between a bird's bill and eyes.
A diverse group of invertebrates, mainly marine, that have one or all of the following; a horny, toothed ribbon in the mouth (the radula), a shell covering the upper surface of the body, and a mantle or mantle cavity with a type of gill. Includes snails, slugs, shellfish, octopuses and squid.
Polychaete worms
Polychaeta means ‘many bristled’; this class of worms are segmented and bear many ‘chaetae’ (bristles).
A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.


  1. IUCN Red List (December, 2008)
  2. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1996) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  3. Blake, E.R. (1977) Manual of Neotropical Birds, Volume 1. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
  4. Penguins and seabirds of the South Atlantic (May, 2009)
  5. D'amico, V.L. and Bala, L.O. (2004) Diet of the Two-banded Plover at Caleta Valdés, Peninsula Valdés, Argentina. IWSG Bulletin, 104: 85 - 87.
  6. D'amico, V.L. and Bala, L.O. (2004) Prey Selection and Feeding Behavior of the Two-banded Plover in Patagonia, Argentina. Waterbirds, 27(3): 264 - 269.
  7. BirdLife International (May, 2009)

Image credit

Two-banded plover stood on sand amongst sea cabbage  
Two-banded plover stood on sand amongst sea cabbage

© Gunnar Brehm /

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