Small migratory plover. Widespread in New Zealand breeding on braided rivers on both the North and South Islands. Much of the population migrates to overwinter along coastal areas in Australia, 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.