Charadrius alexandrinus
chorlitejo patinegro
English: Kentish Plover.
German: Seeregenpfeifer.
French: Pluvier à collier interrompu.
Order: Charadriiformes.
Family: Charadriidae.
15-17 cm.
The Kentish Plover can be confused with the Common Ringed Plover or the Little Ringed Plover. These two species have a closed breast band in the shape of a bib. On the other hand, the Kentish Plover has very dark legs that contrast with the light legs of the Common Ringed Plover and Little Ringed Plover.
During the breeding season, with the nuptial plumage, the male has black spots on the head and neck and its nape is reddish in color.

The female lacks the black spot on the head and neck, although some specimens may have some dark feathers without forming the complete superciliary stripe as in the case of the male. In the female, the nape is light brown in color. In the autumn, once the molt is completed, the male tends to present the collar and superciliary stripe white and wider than the female.

These last characters have a great variability, so it is not always possible to sex with certainty. Juvenile specimens cannot be sexed through the study of plumage.
It is possible to recognize 3 different ages:

Juvenile specimen: its back feathers and wing coverts are gray-brown with a clearly bright edge. The neck spots (which do not close) are light brown, which are generally subtler. The central rectrices are pointed with a sharp edge because there has been no time for wear. The same occurs with the flight feathers, always new and of one generation.

2nd-year specimen: in the spring it is easy to find them with some median under-coverts retained from the juvenile molt. On the other hand, the primaries are usually very worn. Not all males have the characteristic color in the nape. The black feathers of the head and neck mixed (from both molts) with gray-brown.

Adult specimen: depending on the sex, in the spring, the dark spots (brown or black) are always perfectly visible on the head.
Kentish Plover perform a complete post-nuptial molt that usually ends in October. On the other hand, the post-juvenile molt is a partial molt that includes the body feathers, tail, and wing coverts, retaining most of the greater coverts. In this molt, the flight feathers are retained, which is why they are so worn in the next age. Both adults and younger specimens have a pre-nuptial molt in which they change most of the body feathers. Some specimens can even add to the molt part of the wing coverts, some tertiaries, and part or all of the tail.
Primaries: 10 per wing.
Secundaries: 15-16 per wing.
Rectrices: 12.


Adult specimen:
Beak tip to pupil center:

Adult female specimen


1.- Left wing primaries. 2.- Primaries. 3.- Primaries, secondaries and tertials. 4.- Secondaries and tertials. 5.- Secondaries and primaries (P1-P2). 6.- Details of primaries. 7.- Secondaries and tertials. 8.- Secondaries. 9.- Primaries, secondaries and tertials. 10.- Primaries, secondaries and tertials + primary coverts and greater coverts. 11.- Primaries, secondaries, tertials. Primary coverts, secondaries coverts (G, M and L). Alulas. 12.- Details of primary coverts. 13.- Details of secondary coverts. 14.- Details of secondary coverts + secondaries. 15.- Covert details. 16.- Rectrices. 17.- Rectrices. 18.- Rectrices and uppertails coverts. 19.- Rectrices. 20.- Rectrices.

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