Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Northern New Zealand Dotterel

Charadrius aquilonius


Also known as the Northern Red-breasted Plover. A medium sized wader about 26-28cm long and weighing in at 145gms. Grey/brown head dorsal surface with white on the face and over the eye as well as white lower breast and vent. Upper breast is a rusty red in breeding birds but often only shows traces of that in winter.


Found in the northern half of the North Island on most sandy or pebbly beach types quite often in esturine and rivermouth environments. These two were spotted on the Pukehina Spit near a Dotterel sanctuary in the Bay of Plenty.


Many places where these birds roost and breed have now become protected areas being marked of on public beaches as no go areas. Populations of this species seem to be on the increase although it is still classed as 'Near Threatened'. The much rarer Charadrius obscurus only breeds on Stewart Island.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


triggsturner 6 years ago

Thank you Liana, my pleasure. Glad you enjoyed them.

armadeus.4 6 years ago

Well...I hope their numbers just keep on keepin' on! Good luck to them! And I hope the numbers of the little southern species begin improving. Wonderful pics Rob. Thank you for the information and for sharing :)

triggsturner 6 years ago

Thank you Venusflytrap and Ines. I appreciate the comments.

InêsVeloso 6 years ago

incredible pictures!

CalebSteindel 6 years ago

Fantastic images!

triggsturner 6 years ago

Thanks Mark. These guys were teetering on the edge but the North Island species is doing reasonably well now. The southern species is still in a lot of trouble.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

A lovely looking little dotterel. Hope they keep improving numbers.

Spotted by

Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Spotted on Apr 27, 2013
Submitted on Feb 21, 2016

Related Spottings

Killdeer Ringed Plover Greater Sand Plover Greater Sand Plover

Nearby Spottings

Variable Oystercatcher Wrybill PSA Heron
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team