The Oriental Plover is an elegant, medium-sized (length: 21–25 cm; weight: 95 g) plover with long legs. Sexes differ when in breeding plumage, but are inseparable when in non-breeding plumage; juveniles are separable from adults. Adults – in breeding plumage, the male has a whitish head and neck, except for a darker brown patch at the rear of the crown; the pale head and neck contrast with the rest of the upperparts, which are dark brown. In flight the upperwing appears dark brown with a narrow white line across the tips of the greater coverts. The underparts are white except for the breast, which is chestnut with a broad black border to its lower edge, contrasting with the white belly. In flight the underwing is uniform dark brown. The bill is black, the eyes are brown and the legs and feet vary from yellow or orange to fleshy or greenish. The female in breeding plumage appears similar to birds in non-breeding plumage, except the ear-coverts are browner and the breast is a bolder, less diffuse brown. In non-breeding plumage, both sexes have a brown crown and nape, a pale brown hindneck, and the rest of the upperparts are brown. The face is buff with slightly paler forehead, lores and supercilium, and the sides of the neck are buff. The chin and throat are pale buff, and the breast is pale brownish, with the rest of the underparts white. Juveniles are similar to adults in non-breeding plumage except that they have more conspicuous buff scaling on the fringes of the feathers of the upperparts and a mottled breast. The species is generally gregarious, and usually occurs in small parties or flocks of hundreds or occasionally thousands, though some are seen singly. They sometimes roost with other species of shorebirds, and often associate with Pratincoles (Glareola maldivarum), and sometimes with Inland Dotterels (Charadrius australis).
Oriental Plover, Oriental Dotterel |
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Species Profile and Threats Database, Charadrius veredus
In addition; global warming and associated changes in sea level are likely to have a long term impact on the breeding; staging and non breeding grounds of all migratory shorebirds (Harding et al. 2007 Melville 1997).
Other movements within Australia may be in response to rainfall and temperature (Lane 1987); with birds dispersing in wet conditions (Carruthers 1968 Corben 1972 Larkins McGill 1978 Roberts 1975a); while occurrence in coastal areas often coincides with drought conditions (Carter 1904a Dymond 1988 Emison et al. 1987 McCrie 1984).