Medium-sized plover with a pale throat, brown back, and white belly. Breeding adults have a black mask and a bright orange chest and neck; males average brighter than females. Non-breeding and immature birds are brownish above and white below, with white “eyebrows.” Subspecies vary slightly. Compare with slightly larger Greater Sand-Plover; Lesser is proportionally smaller-headed and darker-legged, and its shorter bill has a slight bulge at the tip. Smaller Kentish Plover can be similar in non-breeding plumage; Lesser is taller and longer-legged, without Kentish’s strong white neck band. Breeds on margins of high-elevation lakes and rivers, winters on coastal mudflats.
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