Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
A bird the size of a sparrow. Adults are brown on the top, white on the bottom, with a distinctive black-and-white drawing on the head and a black patch that separates the white throat and sides of the neck from the chest. Around the eyes it has a characteristic yellow eye-lid ring. Dark beak and yellowish grey legs. It lives in sandy or gravelly river valleys. In recent times it has also started to inhabit other habitats with poor vegetation such as wastelands, gravel pits, artificial lakes, opencast mines or construction sites. It builds nests on the ground in holes dug out by the males. The chicks are precocial birds which means they are able to fly approx. three weeks after hatching. Plovers are very caring parents and in the case of danger they try to distract predators from their nest at all cost. In such cases they pretend that they have a broken wing and thus attract the attention of the attacker. The food of plovers are insects and other small invertebrates collected on the earth surface or in shallow layers of silt. When feeding it moves very quickly, so that the bird’s legs are almost invisible and it seems as if the bird is sliding.