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Hooded dotterel (Charadrius cucullatus)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Subfamily: Charadriinae
Leach, 1820

see the table

Little ringed plover Charadrius dubius
Kentish plover Anarhynchus alexandrinus
Lesser sand plover, Anarhynchus mongolus
Snowy plover, on the beach at Vandenberg, CA

Plovers (/ˈplʌvər/ PLUV-ər,[1] also US: /ˈplvər/ PLOH-vər)[2] are members of a widely distributed group of wading birds of family Charadriidae. The term "plover" applies to all the members of the family,[1] though only about half of them include it in their name.[1]

Species list in taxonomic sequence

The taxonomy of family Charadriidae is unsettled. At various times the plovers, dotterels, and lapwings of family Charadriidae have been distributed among several subfamilies, with Charadriinae including most of the species. The International Ornithological Congress (IOC) and the Clements taxonomy do not assign species to subfamilies.[3][4] The South American Classification Committee of the American Ornithological Society (AOS) includes all of the species in Charadriinae.[5] The North American Classification Committee of the AOS separates lapwings as subfamily Vanellinae.[6] BirdLife International's Handbook of the Birds of the World includes lapwings in Charadriinae but separates the four members of genus Pluvialis as subfamily Pluvialinae.[5][7]

The IOC recognizes these 69 species of plovers, dotterels, and lapwings in family Charadriidae. They are distributed among 11 genera, some of which have only one species.[3] This list is presented according to the IOC taxonomic sequence and can also be sorted alphabetically by common name and binomial.[3]

Common name Binomial name + authority IOC sequence
Grey plover Pluvialis squatarola (Linnaeus, 1758) 1
European golden plover Pluvialis apricaria (Linnaeus, 1758) 2
Pacific golden plover Pluvialis fulva (Gmelin, JF, 1789) 3
American golden plover Pluvialis dominica (Müller, PLS, 1776) 4
Tawny-throated dotterel Oreopholus ruficollis (Wagler, 1829) 5
Rufous-chested dotterel Zonibyx modestus Lichtenstein, MHC, 1823 6
Diademed sandpiper-plover Phegornis mitchellii (Fraser, 1845) 7
Eurasian dotterel Eudromias morinellus Linnaeus, 1758 8
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus Linnaeus, 1758 9
Common ringed plover Charadrius hiaticula Linnaeus, 1758 10
Semipalmated plover Charadrius semipalmatus Bonaparte, 1825 11
Piping plover Charadrius melodus Ord, 1824 12
Hooded dotterel Charadrius cucullatus (Vieillot, 1818) 13
Forbes's plover Charadrius forbesi (Shelley, 1883) 14
Three-banded plover Charadrius tricollaris Vieillot, 1818 15
Black-fronted dotterel Charadrius melanops (Vieillot, 1818) 16
Shore plover Charadrius novaeseelandiae (Gmelin, JF, 1789) 17
Little ringed plover Charadrius dubius Scopoli, 1786 18
Long-billed plover Charadrius placidus Gray, JE & Gray, GR, 1863 19
Pied plover Hoploxypterus cayanus (Latham, 1790) 20
Northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus (Linnaeus, 1758) 21
Long-toed lapwing Vanellus crassirostris (Hartlaub, 1855) 22
Blacksmith lapwing Vanellus armatus (Burchell, 1822) 23
Spur-winged lapwing Vanellus spinosus (Linnaeus, 1758) 24
River lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii (Lesson, RP, 1826) 25
Yellow-wattled lapwing Vanellus malabaricus (Boddaert, 1783) 26
Black-headed lapwing Vanellus tectus (Boddaert, 1783) 27
White-crowned lapwing Vanellus albiceps Gould, 1834 28
Senegal lapwing Vanellus lugubris (Lesson, RP, 1826) 29
Black-winged lapwing Vanellus melanopterus (Cretzschmar, 1829) 30
Crowned lapwing Vanellus coronatus (Boddaert, 1783) 31
African wattled lapwing Vanellus senegallus (Linnaeus, 1766) 32
Spot-breasted lapwing Vanellus melanocephalus (Rüppell, 1845) 33
Brown-chested lapwing Vanellus superciliosus (Reichenow, 1886) 34
Grey-headed lapwing Vanellus cinereus (Blyth, 1842) 35
Red-wattled lapwing Vanellus indicus (Boddaert, 1783) 36
Javan lapwing Vanellus macropterus (Wagler, 1827) 37
Banded lapwing Vanellus tricolor (Vieillot, 1818) 38
Masked lapwing Vanellus miles (Boddaert, 1783) 39
Sociable lapwing Vanellus gregarius (Pallas, 1771) 40
White-tailed lapwing Vanellus leucurus (Lichtenstein, MHC, 1823) 41
Southern lapwing Vanellus chilensis (Molina, 1782) 42
Andean lapwing Vanellus resplendens (Tschudi, 1843) 43
Red-kneed dotterel Erythrogonys cinctus Gould, 1838 44
Inland dotterel Peltohyas australis (Gould, 1841) 45
Caspian plover Anarhynchus asiaticus Pallas, 1773 46
Oriental plover Anarhynchus veredus Gould, 1848 47
Tibetan sand plover Anarhynchus atrifons (Wagler, 1829) 48
Siberian sand plover Anarhynchus mongolus Pallas, 1776 49
Greater sand plover Anarhynchus leschenaultii Lesson, RP, 1826 50
Double-banded plover Anarhynchus bicinctus Jardine & Selby, 1827 51
Wrybill Anarhynchus frontalis Quoy & Gaimard, 1832 52
New Zealand plover Anarhynchus obscurus Gmelin, JF, 1789 53
Wilson's plover Anarhynchus wilsonia Ord, 1814 543
Collared plover Anarhynchus collaris Vieillot, 1818 55
Mountain plover Anarhynchus montanus Townsend, JK, 1837 56
Puna plover Anarhynchus alticola (Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1902) 57
Two-banded plover Anarhynchus falklandicus Latham, 1790 58
Madagascar plover Anarhynchus thoracicus (Richmond, 1896) 59
Kittlitz's plover Anarhynchus pecuarius Temminck, 1823 60
St. Helena plover Anarhynchus sanctaehelenae (Harting, 1873) 61
Red-capped plover Anarhynchus ruficapillus Temminck, 1821 62
Snowy plover Anarhynchus nivosus (Cassin, 1858) 63
Chestnut-banded plover Anarhynchus pallidus Strickland, 1853 64
Malaysian plover Anarhynchus peronii Schlegel, 1865 65
White-fronted plover Anarhynchus marginatus Vieillot, 1818 66
Javan plover Anarhynchus javanicus Chasen, 1938 67
Kentish plover Anarhynchus alexandrinus Linnaeus, 1758 68
White-faced plover Anarhynchus dealbatus (Swinhoe, 1870) 69


Plovers are found throughout the world, with the exception of the Sahara and the polar regions, and are characterised by relatively short bills. They hunt by sight, rather than by feel as longer-billed waders like snipes do. They feed mainly on insects, worms or other invertebrates, depending on the habitat, which are obtained by a run-and-pause technique, rather than the steady probing of some other wader groups.[8] Plovers engage in false brooding, a type of distraction display. Examples include pretending to change position or to sit on an imaginary nest site.

See also

In folklore

The European golden plover[9] spends summers in Iceland, and in Icelandic folklore, the appearance of the first plover in the country means that spring has arrived. The Icelandic media always covers the first plover sighting.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "plover". Lexico.
  2. ^ "Definition of plover |". Retrieved 2022-02-14.
  3. ^ a b c Gill, F.; Donsker, D.; Rasmussen, P. (January 2024). "Buttonquail, thick-knees, sheathbills, plovers, oystercatchers, stilts, painted-snipes, jacanas, Plains-wanderer, seedsnipes". IOC World Bird List. v 14.1. Retrieved January 4, 2024.
  4. ^ "2023 Citation & Downloadable Checklist – Clements Checklist". Retrieved 2024-01-31.
  5. ^ a b Sangster, G.; Knox, A. G.; Helbig, A. J.; Parkin, D. T. (2002). "Taxonomic recommendations for European birds". Ibis. 144 (1): 153–159. doi:10.1046/j.0019-1019.2001.00026.x.
  6. ^ "AOU Checklist of North and Middle American Birds". Retrieved 2024-01-31.
  7. ^ HBW and BirdLife International (2023). Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International digital checklist of the birds of the world. Version 8. Available at: retrieved December 28, 2023
  8. ^ Perrins, Christopher (2003). The New Encyclopedia of Birds. Oxford U. P. ISBN 978-0-19-852506-6. [page needed]
  9. ^ "The Golden Plover has arrived, indicating spring in Iceland". IceNews - Daily News. March 27, 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Spring has arrived in Iceland, according to folklore". Retrieved 4 April 2018.

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