Body length: 16-18 cm. Width of the wings: 43-45 cm. Weight: 40-60g. Longevity: 10 years.
Both male and female birds have black bills and dark legs, however adults have dimorphic plumage. During the breeding season, males have a black horizontal head bar, two incomplete dark breast-bands on each side of their breast, black ear coverts and a rufous nape and crown (although there is some variation between breeding populations), whereas the females are paler in these areas, without the dark markings. In the early breeding season, it is easy to distinguish between males and females since the ornaments are very pronounced, but as the breeding season progresses, the differences between the two sexes decrease. Moreover, males have longer tarsi and longer flank feathers than females.
Makes sounds: “Pueet-Pueet”.
Distribution and Habitat
A cosmopolitan look. In Europe dwells on the coasts the Atlantic Ocean, the North, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. There are few intracontinental populations in Spain, Eastern Austria, Hungary and Vojvodina.
The Kentish Plover inhabits beaches, sandy beaches, islands and dunes, as well as coastal brackish or salt lagoons and salt-mining sites.
In Bulgaria, it is a nesting and passing species and can be observed mainly along the Black Sea coast – lakes Atanasovsko, Vaya, Mandrensko, Pomoriysko, Varnensko, Shabla, Durankulac and the Alepu marsh, as well as on the sand stripes in front of them.
It feeds on insects, small mussels, earthworms, algae.
The Kentish Plover grows alone and in loose colonies. The construction of the nest is part of the marriage games and begins from the end of March. The building material – dry stalks of the salt, shells, feathers, dried mud, etc., gathers near the nest. The full brood is from 3 eggs, rarely 4 or 2, which they lay in early April. The first young ones hatch in mid-May, and non-flying youngsters meet until the end of August.
Protected, included in the Bulgarian Red Book, as critically endangered species.