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Double-banded Plover - BirdForum Opus

Breeding Plumage
Photo © by Peter Ericsson
Abel Tasman, New Zealand, 14 October 2006

Alternate name: Banded Dotterel

Anarhynchus bicinctus

Charadrius bicinctus


Non-breeding Plumage
Photo © by Neil Fifer
Sydney, Australia, 15 February 2008

Length: 18–21 cm (7-8¼ in)

  • Grey brown upperparts
  • White underparts
  • Black upper band and wide chestnut lower band across chest
  • Black eye mask
  • White eyebrow
  • Slim, short, black bill
  • Green yellow legs


  • Duller
  • Narrower front bar


  • Chestnut lower band faint or missing
  • Head pattern blended


  • Similar to non-breeding but with faint buff wash on neck and breast and rufous-buff fringes on mantle.


Subspecies C. b. exilis of Enderby and Adams Islands in the Auckland group is larger, paler and has longer legs than nominate. Its chest bands are also less distinct and flecked with white.

Subspecies C. b. exilis
Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Enderby Island, Auckland Islands, New Zealand, 6 January 2017


Australia, New Zealand and out-lying islands.



There are 2 subspecies1:

  • A. b. bicinctus:
  • A. b. exilis:
  • Enderby and Adams Islands in the Auckland Islands group; resident


Beaches, mudflats, river banks, fields, dunes, tussock grasses and shingle. The breeding grounds are usually on inland open, firm, gravel or sand banks.


Photo © by Peter Ericsson
Abel Tasman, New Zealand, 14 October 2006


The diet includes mainly mollusks, crustaceans, insects, larvae of such items as flies and beetles; some seeds and fruit are taken.


They nest in a scrape lined with stones. Both adults incubate the eggs. Lays August to December in lowlands; mid-September (or mid-August) to mid-December, mostly October, in higher areas. Seasonally monogamous. Sometimes double brooded.


Most common calls are a strident pit! and less emphatic chit. Also a fast rolling che-ree-a-ree.


Click on photo for larger image


  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. Birds in Backyards
  3. Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2017). Double-banded Plover (Charadrius bicinctus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/53844 on 22 February 2017).
  4. Falla, R.A. 1978. Banded Dotterel at the Auckland Islands: Description of a new subspecies. Notornis 25(2): 101-8. http://notornis.osnz.org.nz/system/files/Notornis_25_2.pdf
  5. Marchant, S.; Higgins, P.J. (eds) 1993. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds. Vol. 2, raptors to lapwings. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
  6. Pierce, R.J. 2013. Banded dotterel. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Online. http://www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz

Recommended Citation

External Links

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