Caspian plover

   ›      ›   Caspian plover - Charadrius asiaticus

The Caspian plover (Charadrius asiaticus) belongs to the family of plovers and lapwings, the Charadriidae.

The Caspian plover is distributed in the southwest Asia and Africa. This plover species is a vagrant visitor to the Indian Subcontinent. This plover is a monotypic species.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Caspian Plover Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The Caspian plover (Charadrius asiaticus) is a medium-sized plover, measuring 17 to 20 cm in length and weighing 60 to 90 grams. The wingspan is 55 to 60 cm.

The Caspian plover has brown crown and upperparts. The throat and forehead are white. There is a white supercilium. The breast band is rusty in summer males and grayish brown in wintering birds.

The bill is slim, long and colored blackish. The irises are blackish. There is a gray eye-ring. The legs and feet are long and dirty yellow. Their call is a short, nasal "chup" or a sharp "chip" sound.
Indian birds - Image of Caspian plover - Charadrius asiaticus
1.Birds of India - Image of Caspian plover - Charadrius asiaticus by Tsrawal

Birds of India - Image of Caspian plover - Charadrius asiaticus
2.Indian birds - Image of Caspian plover - Charadrius asiaticus by Tsrawal

Indian birds - Image of Caspian plover - Charadrius asiaticus
3.Birds of India - Image of Caspian plover - Charadrius asiaticus by Tsrawal

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The Caspian plover species are distributed in southwest Asia and Africa. The breeding populations are distributed in Kazakhstan, northwest China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and north Iran.

The wintering populations occur in south and east Africa. Vagrants have been reported from United Kingdom, Turkey, Seychelles, Russia, Romania, Maldives, India, Sri Lanka and Mali.

In India, vagrant Caspian plover "sightings have been reported from Delhi (Vyas 1996), Gujarat (Robson 2007; Sørensen & Tiwari 2009), Goa (Lainer 2004), Maharashtra (Prasad 2006), Pondicherry (Balachandran 1994), and Tamilnadu (Kazmierczak et al. 1993; Robson 1996)".

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of these Caspian plover species in Kazakhstan are, Zhusandala, Sagyz, Donyz-Tau cliff faces, Caspian Sea shore between Volga and Ural River Deltas and Arys-Karaktau State Reserved Zone.

The IBA of these species in Tanzania are, Singida lakes, Lake Manyara, Serengeti National Park, Longido Game Controlled Area and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The IBA in Uzbekistan is Sudochye Lake.

Ecosystem and habitat

The Caspian plover species do not normally occur in forests. They normally occur in altitudes between 0 to 800 meters.

The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these species include agricultural lands, pasturelands, salt production facilities and aquaculture farms.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these species include temperate grasslands, tropical and subtropical grasslands, hot deserts, coastal sand dunes, shorelines and coastal and freshwater wetlands.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of this Caspian plover species consists mainly of insects. Adult and larval insects such as beetles, ants, termites, grasshoppers, bugs, caterpillars and flies are their primary food. They feed on the ground as well as in very shallow waters.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these Caspian plover species is from April to June in most of their breeding range. These species are monogamous and territorial.

The nesting sites include temperate grasslands and desert steppe near water. The nest is a shallow scrape on open ground or amongst low vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Migration and movement patterns

These Caspian plover species are fully migratory birds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The breeding populations occur in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and north Iran.

These populations migrate between August and October for wintering in Africa. The return migration to the breeding grounds occurs between March and early-May, with stop-overs in Arabian Peninsula and the Red Sea area.

Caspian plover - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Charadrius asiaticus
  • Species author: Pallas, 1773
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Charadrius asiaticus Pallas, 1773
  • Family: Charadriidae › Charadriiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Caspian plover, Chinese: 红胸鸻, French: Pluvier asiatique, German: Wermutregenpfeifer, Spanish: Chorlitejo asiático chico, Russian: Каспийский зуёк, Japanese: ニシオオチドリ
  • Other names: Caspian Plover, Oriental Plover, Sand Plover
  • Distribution: southwest Asia, Africa
  • Diet and feeding habits: invertebrates, insects, insect larvae, seeds
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the Caspian plover (Charadrius asiaticus) is estimated at 40,000 to 55,000 individual birds (Wetlands International 2016). The overall population trend of the species is considered to be decreasing.

In most of its range, this plover species is reported to be fairly common to uncommon. The generation length is 5.8 years. Its distribution size is about 3,150,000

Habitat alteration, human disturbance and agricultural expansion are the main threats that are endangering the survival of this plover species.

IUCN and CITES status

The Caspian plover (Charadrius asiaticus) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the plover species and has listed it as of "Least Concern".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the Caspian plover (Charadrius asiaticus).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Charadrius asiaticus
Species:C. asiaticus
Binomial name:Charadrius asiaticus
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The Caspian plover (Charadrius asiaticus) is closely related to the oriental plover (Charadrius veredus) and the mountain plover (Charadrius montanus).
Popular posts in Bird World
Red-billed blue magpie images Slender-billed oriole
White-bellied drongo White-browed fantail
Eurasian jay Indian courser
Wood sandpiper Black-bellied tern
Mountain imperial-pigeon Rufous woodpecker
Crow-billed drongo Andean siskin
Horned screamer American black duck
Andaman green pigeon Boreal owl
Coppersmith barbet Darjeeling woodpecker
Small minivet Eurasian woodcock
Spotted redshank Roseate tern
Choco tinamou Russet-backed oropendola
Yellow-faced siskin American wigeon
Indian pitta Bar-winged flycatcher-shrike
Black-winged cuckooshrike Sociable lapwing
Asian dowitcher Black-legged kittiwake
Nicobar pigeon Greater coucal
Black-headed jay Dusky-green oropendola
Barnacle goose Red-billed blue magpie
Brown wood owl Little swift
River lapwing Swinhoe's snipe
Small pratincole Little gull
Eastern spotted dove Asian koel
Red siskin White-cheeked tern
Green imperial-pigeon Short-eared owl
House swift Mottled wood owl
Vernal hanging parrot Grey-bellied cuckoo
Brown fish owl Common swift
Black-capped kingfisher Austen's brown hornbill
Scarlet-breasted woodpecker Grey-chinned minivet

1.Image source:,_India,_by_Dr._Tejinder_Singh_Rawal.jpg (cropped)
Image author: Tsrawal | License: CC BY-SA 3.0 as on 7/16/18
2.Image source: (cropped)
Image author: Tsrawal | License: CC BY-SA 3.0 as on 7/16/18
3.Image source: (cropped)
Image author: Tsrawal | License: CC BY-SA 3.0 as on 7/16/18
Current topic in Birds of India: Caspian plover - Charadrius asiaticus.
Contact State Tourism or travel agents for bird watching and wildlife tours.