Small migratory plover. Usually found on mudflats but also ventures into freshwater wetlands and grasslands. In breeding plumage, adult has two dark bands on breast, the upper band thin and blackish, the lower band broad and rusty. Nonbreeding birds more difficult to distinguish from other similar plovers: look for pale hindcollar, buff color on face, and two diffuse gray-brown streaks extending onto the breast from near the bend of the wing. This species also has shorter legs and a shorter, thinner bill than Greater and Lesser Sand Plovers. Widespread in New Zealand; in Australia, prefers coastal areas. Breeds in New Zealand, with part of the population wintering in Australia.