The smallest of the resident shorebirds; found all over Australia. Red-capped Plovers are also the only Australian beach-nesting bird that is gender dimorphic.

Interestingly, recent research has begun to reveal that there are important evolutionary reasons behind the different plumages of male and female Red-capped Plovers.

Researchers from Deakin University conducting a study in Victoria have found that daytime nest incubation is performed exclusively by females, with males taking the night-time shift.

The “jury’s still out” on exactly why this is the case (and whether it’s the case everywhere in Australia), but it may well relate to predators... i.e. females having the duller plumage are less visible to to potential predators during daylight hours.








“Red-caps” are energetic little birds that feed and nest on

beaches and the shores of saline or freshwater wetlands and lakes.

They can even nest on gravel roads, saltpans and on vegetation such as succulent plants, and will nest both under cover or out in the open.

img1 img2 img3 img3

Red-cap’s are strong nest defenders, giving energetic distractions, displays and even exhibiting aggression. Males make nest scrapes and female chooses the scrape she will lay in.

Chicks are sent into hiding well in advance of approach and parents provide more rigorous displays at this stage.

Where do Red-capped Plovers nest in your area?

Send us Red-capped Plover nesting habitat in your local beach and we’ll upload them here.