White-faced Plover Charadrius dealbatus

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Identification

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A small, pale plover with sandy upperparts, flesh-colored legs, and a black bill. Male in breeding plumage has a mostly rufous crown and small black marks on top of the head and at the sides of the breast. The face is mostly white, including the area between the bill and eye. Breeding female and non-breeding adults duller, lacking black and rufous. The face is still pale, though there can be a hint of brown between the bill and eye. Breeding range and habitat unknown. In migration and winter, found along the coast on sandy beaches, dry mudflats, and salt ponds. Often joins mixed-species shorebird flocks, especially with other plovers. Separated from Common Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers by the lack of a complete dark band across the breast. Very similar to Kentish Plover. Breeding male is separated by the white (rather than black) area between bill and eye, and by the more restricted black on the head and sides of the breast. Female and non-breeding birds more difficult to separate, but note the whiter face, smaller dark patch at the side of the breast, paler legs, slightly heavier bill, and slightly broader white stripe through the wing (visible in flight). Also similar to Malaysian Plover, but separated by the whiter face (including the area between the bill and eye), less scaly-looking back, and smaller dark smudge at the side of the breast. Breeding male further distinguished by the lack of a black collar at the back of the neck.

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