Banded Dotterel; Tuturiwhatu (Charadrius bicintus)

Endemic.

 

The banded dotterel breeds inland and then moves to the coast, with flocks beginning to gather in late December and at their greatest numbers in February. From mid-July it begins to return to its breeding grounds inland.

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The banded dotterel has a grey-brown back and head, with a white or off-white band between the eyes. The throat and underparts are white. Two distinctive dark brown and chestnut bands cross the breast in breeding plumage, the bands fading or almost non-existant outside of the breeding season. It has a short dark grey beak and yellow-green-grey legs.

 

Banded dotterels are visual feeders, running across the mudflats and stopping when they see something interesting. They don't usually roost with other waders at high tide.