Eurasian Dotterel – Profile | Nest | Habitat | Description | Ecology

Eurasian Dotterel

The Eurasian dotterel, scientific name Charadrius morinellus, additionally recognized in Europe as simply dotterel, is a small wader within the plover family of birds.

Eurasian Dotterel profile

The dotterel is a brown and black-streaked bird with a broad white eye-stripe and an orange-red chest band when in breeding plumage. The feminine is more vibrant than the male. The bird is tame and unsuspecting and the time period “dotterel” has been utilized contemptuously to imply an old idiot.

Across northern Europe and Asia, this lovely small plover nests on high, dry tundra, and it has been discovered nesting a couple of instances on related terrain in western Alaska. Strays have been discovered very not often south of Alaska on the Pacific Coast in fall.

Eurasian Dotterel


The Eurasian dotterel is a migratory species, breeding in northern Europe and Eurosiberia and migrating south to north Africa and the Middle East within the winter. It nests in a naked scrape on the ground and lays two to 4 eggs.

The male does the incubation and rears the chicks, the feminine having gone off to seek out one other male and lay one other clutch of eggs.

It is a standard bird with a large range and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated it as being of “least concern”.

Distribution and habitat

It breeds within the Arctic tundra of northern Eurosiberia, from Norway to eastern Siberia, and on appropriate mountain plateaus such because the Scottish highlands and the Alps.

This species is migratory, wintering in a slender belt throughout North Africa from Morocco eastwards to Iran.

Migration stopovers are conventional, and small events (journeys) of dotterels go by every year at these normally inland arable or grassy sites. The winter habitat is semi-desert.

Eurasian Dotterel

Eurasian Dotterel Description

This plover is smaller and more compact than the European golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria). It has a putting whitish supercilium in all plumages and has plain wings in flight.

Adults in the summertime are unmistakable, with a chestnut breast bordered above with a white, black stomach and heat brown back. The legs are yellow, and the brief bill is black. As with the phalaropes, the feminine is brighter than the male.

Winter birds lack the wealthy underpart coloration, other than the white breast line, and are greyer above. Young birds are related however have a scaly look to their backs.

Eurasian Dotterel Behavior and ecology

The dotterel’s diet is made up of bugs and different small invertebrates equivalent to snails and worms and shellfish. These are obtained by a run-and-pause method, somewhat than the regular probing utilized by different waders.

The flight call is a tender pyurr. The feminine’s song is a straightforward repetitive whistle.

The male dotterel typically is liable for incubation and takes care of the chicks. In most instances, the cock dotterel efficiently prevents different males from getting their mate and fertilizing their eggs.

He normally rears chicks that he has fathered and solely 4.6% (2/44) of chicks weren’t the genetic offspring of the caring male, equivalent to 9.1% (2/22) broods affected.

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