Grey Plover

Scientific Name: Pluvialis squatarola

Malay Name: Kerinyut Kelabu

Chinese Name: 灰斑鸻

Alternative Name(s): Black-bellied Plover

Range: Found from the Arctic Islands and along the north coasts of Russia, Canada to Alaska and winter to coastal habitats of both the Old and New World.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: squatarola, tomkovichi, cynosurae.

Local Subspecies: squatarola

Size: 27-30 cm

Identification: In non-breeding plumage, look similar to Pacific Golden Plover but larger, stockier and bigger-headed with stouter bill and relatively shorter legs, upperside more uniform and distinctly greyish. In flight, display prominent black auxiliaries (armpits) at underwing. In breeding plumage, face and underparts all black except vent which is white, with very broad white band extending from lore to behind ear-coverts and down the breast-sides.

Similar looking species: Pacific Golden Plover

Habitat: Mudflat, sandflat and beaches.

Behaviour/Ecology: Form small flocks with birds widely spaced apart unlike Pacific Golden Plovers which usually form large and rather "dense" flocks.

Local Status: Uncommon migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Location: Changi Cove, Changi Beach, Pulau Ubin (Chek Jawa and Sekudu Rocks) and Pulau Tekong.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Mar 12-Mar 18
Early date 06 Jul 1996
Late date 22 Jun 2021
The best place in Singapore to see this bird is in Chek Jawa, where many Grey Plovers spend the winter. Look out for birds in breeding plumage at the start and end of the migratory season!


BirdLife International. (2019). Pluvialis squatarola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

To top
%d bloggers like this: