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The Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus) is a medium sized plover, with brown back, white belly and pale throat. The breeding adults have a black mask and a orange chest and neck. In the Northern Hemisphere, the plumage on the breast, crown and nape is a dull brick-red colour and the ear coverts become black. The males colouration appear brighter then the female.

The non-breeding and immature birds are grey-brown above, crown, nape, and breast patches. They are white below with white ‘eyebrows’. The forehead, lores (the region between the eye and bill on the side of a bird’s head), bill and upperwing are dark. The ear coverts (are the small feathers behind the bird’s eye which cover the ear opening) are dusky colour.

The Lesser Sand Plover has a smaller body size with a more upright stance to the Greater Sand Plover. They have a more compact appearance and dark grey (rather than greenish) legs.

They have been recorded at coastal locations around mainland Australia and Tasmania. They have been sighted at lakes and rivers and winters on coastal mudflats.

Common name
There are a couple of different spellings for the Lesser Sand Plover, including Lesser Sandplover.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Charadriidae
  • Genus: Charadrius
  • Species: C. mongolus
  • Binomial name: Charadrius mongolus