Common ringed plover

    Common ringed plover

    Charadrius hiaticula

Castilian: Chorlitejo grande

Catalan: Corriol gros

Gallego: Píllara real

Euskera: Txirritxo handia


Orden: Charadriiformes

Family: Charadriidae

Migratory status: Passage migrant


On the National List of Threatened Species, it appears in the “Of Special Interest” category. In the 2004 edition of the Red Book of Spanish Birds (Libro Rojo de las Aves de España) it is listed as “Not Evaluated”.

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The destruction of its habitat caused by the elimination of islets to make room for marine agriculture or urban construction, industrial pollution, and illegal hunting.

Length / size: 17-19,5 cm / 35-41 cm

Identification: Small wader with a robust appearance and a bill that is quite short. During mating season, the male has a wide black collar and another white one; on his head there is a black line that begins at the crown and extends across his face, enclosing a frontal white spot; his legs are orange, and like his bill, they are black at the tip. In non-mating adults, the black spots are less intense and the orange on their bill is barely noticeable.

Song: In flight it makes a fluty "peeeep" sound.

Diet: During mating season it feeds on coastal and land invertebrates, but outside this period its diet includes bristle worms, mollusks and crustaceans. It locates its prey by sight and, after a short run, snatches it up with its bill.

Reproduction: Breeding begins in mid-April. The bird builds its nest in a depression in the sand; it can be uncovered or hidden in the vegetation. Both sexes are in charge of incubation; the chicks, shortly after hatching, can move about and feed alone.


In winter it occupies sandy areas, such as pebbly beaches, but during breeding season it concentrates in coasts, estuaries, rivers and sandbars.


In Spain: In Spain, this bird commonly winters on the Atlantic coasts. The principal concentrations are located in the Guadalquivir marshes and in the wetlands of the Bay of Cádiz.

In Castile and León: It can be seen in all the provinces, although it is most numerous in Villafáfila (Zamora) and Azud de Riolobos (Salamanca).

Movements and migrations: It is a migratory species that, in winter, comes to Spain from Greenland and Atlantic Europe. The prenuptial passage takes place between April and May, and the postnuptial between August and October. Migration usually takes place along the coast.


In Spain: There is an estimated wintering population of 2600 specimens.

In Castile and León: