Black-fronted dotterel

The black-fronted dotterel (Elseyornis melanops) is a small, slender plover that is widespread throughout most of Australia, and is native to New Zealand.[2]

Black-fronted dotterel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Genus: Elseyornis
Mathews, 1914
E. melanops
Binomial name
Elseyornis melanops
(Vieillot, 1818)

It is common in freshwater wetlands, around the edges of lakes and billabongs, and in shallow, temporary claypan pools. It is also found occupying saline mudflats and estuaries, but rarely. They are generally sedentary, with a single bird, a pair, or a family group occupying a stretch of habitat on a more or less permanent basis. However, some individuals appear to travel considerable distances, and flocks will sometimes congregate in food-rich areas.

Unlike many other wading birds, black-fronted dotterels retain the same plumage all year round, which makes identification easier. They forage in a series of short running motions, holding the body horizontal, stopping to peck from time to time with a rapid bobbing motion. Their diet consists of mostly insects and other small creatures, supplemented by a few seeds.

Eggs gestation period: 4–5 weeks. up to 3 eggs have been observe on nest. 24 hours after they hatch chicks leave the nest to hide in less exposed areas, at the same time both parents look after them.


  1. BirdLife International (2012). "Elseyornis melanops". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. Common Birds in New Zealand ISBN 0-589-00759-9


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