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Black-fronted Dotterel - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Peterday
Laratinga Wetlands, Mt Barker, Adelaide, Australia, August, 2015
Charadrius melanops

Elseyornis melanops


Photo © by Ken Doy
Kianawah Road, Brisbane, Queensland, December 2017

16–18 cm (6¼-7 in)

  • Black face-mask and breast-band
  • Pale brown upperparts
  • Chestnut shoulder bar
  • White underparts
  • Pinkish-orange legs
  • Red bill with black tip
  • Dark eye ringed red
  • Short tail

Juvenile: lacks the breast-band but a brown band appears as the bird matures.


Australia (except arid areas), Tasmania and New Zealand.


Photo © by Rose Fletcher
Jingellic, Victoria, Australia, January 2012

This is a monotypic species[1].

Has, in the past been included in the genus Charadrius[2].


Margins of lakes, swamps, dams: less often saline lagoons, rarely coastal.



Typically runs and pecks when feeding. Fast flyer.


The diet consists of insects (grasshoppers, crickets, flies, ants, water beetles and larvae) as well as water snails, crustaceans and earthworms.


Eggs are laid in a shallow scrape, often on pebbly ground, usually close to water. They may have more then one brood per year. Both parents take responsibility for rearing the young.


  1. Clements, J. F., P. C. Rasmussen, T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, A. Spencer, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2023. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2023. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Birds in Backyards
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Dec 2017)

Recommended Citation

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