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Black-fronted dottterel - Elseyornis melanops | by Steve Attwood
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Black-fronted dottterel - Elseyornis melanops

Photographed near Blenheim, South Island, New Zealand.


"The black-fronted dotterel is a small dainty plover with striking plumage markings. In adults, prominent black bands on the breast and head contrast sharply with the otherwise white plumage. Young birds have a mostly white breast, the black bands developing with adulthood. It occurs mostly in small numbers in east coast North and South Island localities, also in the Manawatu. They are found on or beside inland or coastal waterways (but not the coast itself), estuaries, farm ponds, lagoons, on stony river beds and at sewerage sedimentation ponds, but not on coastlines. The plumage colouration provides good camouflage when on shingle sites and stony riverbeds. Black-fronted dotterels are smaller and more slightly built than banded dotterels." -

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Taken on May 20, 2016