Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus Linnaeus, 1758

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Charadriidae Status: Breeding in Madeira

Recommended birdwatching sea trips to watch this bird

Only seen in Porto Santo Island

Kentish Plover Field ID Keys

Shape & Size

A small wader, elegant with fairly long legs, short tail and short bill. When flying the wings are pointed and swept back.

Colour Pattern

Its upper-parts are brownish, the underparts white and its legs are dark-grey. It shows a white forehead, dusky eye patch and the bill is black. It has a patch on the sides of the chest which have a blackish colour on males and brown on females. Males in summer get a rufous-ginger cap which contrasts with the whitish collar and supercilium. In flight Kentish Plover shows a long white wingbar.


It has a typical plover action with a stop-start run in the ground. Its flight is quick and dashing and it glides in to land.


It is associated with sandy areas near shore, saltpans and silty margins of brackish or saline lagoons and lakes. In Madeira Archipelago it only breeds in Porto Santo island, at the back of the sandy beach, near vegetation and some buildings.

Distinction from similar species

It may be easily confused with Ringed-plover and Little Ringed Plover though its distinctive features are the lack of dark collared band and its dark grey legs.

Charadrius alexandrinus Biometrics

Wingspan: 42 - 45 cm (Beaman & Madge, 2011)
Total length: 15 - 17 cm (Beaman & Madge, 2011)
Weight: 40 - 60 g (Hume, 2002)

Other Bird Facts

Seasonality in Madeira: All year round though very localised in Southwest Porto Santo beach. It is very rare to Madeira island.
Breeding: It builds a shallow hollow in the sand as nest where it lays 3 or 4 eggs on each of 2 broods between March and July.
Diet: It feeds on small invertebrates from ground


Madeira local status by Correia-Fagundes et al, 2021: Very rare breeding bird
Madeira local status by Romano et al, 2010: Rare breeding bird
Madeira local status by Zino et al, 1995: Rare breeding bird
Conservation status by the IUCN Red List Categories, 2013: Least Concern ver 3.1

Name of this species in other languages

Portuguese: Borrelho-de-coleira-interrompida
German: Seeregenpfeifer
Dutch: Strandplevier
Swedish: Svartbent strandpipare
Danish: Hvidbrystet Præstekrave
Finish: Mustajalkatylli
Norwegian: Hvitbrystlo
Spanish: Chorlitejo patinegro
French: Pluvier à collier interrompu
Italian: Fratino eurasiatico
Polish: Sieweczka morska
Slovak: Kulík morský
Czech: Kulík mořský

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