Lesser Sand Plover | Charadrius mongolus

Robert's Birding Information: Lesser Sand Plover

The Lesser Sand Plover is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Charadriidae bird family group which includes birds such as Plovers, Lapwings.

The description for the Lesser Sand Plover (Latin name Charadrius mongolus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Charadrius mongolus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 250 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 404. You will find a picture of the Lesser Sand Plover on page 384.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Mongolian Plover in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Lesser Sand Plover between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Lesser Sand Plover has a height of 21 cms and weighs around 55 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured black. The Charadrius mongolus has a white coloured throat, grey legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Charadrius mongolus has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is brown.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are grey.

Throat is white.

Back is brown.

Lesser Sand Plover Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird is a noctunal feeder and is able to forage in the dark because of the enhanced night vision. It also forages at this time because that's when the prey comes out in the open.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Lesser Sand Plover is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

You can see the Lesser Sand Plover bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Lesser Sand Plover is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks.