Kentish Plover

Scientific Name: Charadrius alexandrinus

Malay Name: Rapang Pantai Biasa

Chinese Name: 环颈鸻

Range: Breeding Range: (EU, AF, OR) widespread

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: alexandrinus, nihonensis, seebohmi.

Local Subspecies: alexandrinus

Size: 15 cm

Identification: Non-breeding adult can be distinguished from other plover species by the white nuchal collar, well defined lateral breast-band and plain greyish-brown upperparts including head which has little white on forehead. Male in breeding plumage has distinctive white forehead, black patch on midcrown, strongly rufous-washed remainder of crown and nape, broad blackish eye-stripe and black lateral breast-band. Non-breeding adult can be distinguished from the bigger and similar looking White-faced Plover by having less white on forehead and thicker/longer lateral breast-band while breeding male has a black eye-stripe which is lacking in breeding White-faced Plover.

Similar looking species: Little Ringed Plover, Malaysian Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Greater Sand Plover, White-faced Plover, Javan Plover

Habitat: Sandy beaches and suitable coastal habitats.

Behaviour/Ecology: Have been observed wintering in Singapore and form flocks with White-faced Plovers and Lesser Sand Plovers.

Local Status: Uncommon migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Location: Previously sighted at Tuas, Changi and more recently at the breakwaters near Marina Barrage.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):


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

Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.

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