Environmental Research Unit, PO Box 434, Stanley, Falkland Islands
Rufous-chested DotterelCharadrius modestus
Local Name: Dotterel
Breeding Range: Falklands & southern South America
Falklands Population: ~10,000 breeding pairs
World Population: unknown
The Rufous-chested Dotterel is very common throughout the Falklands. It is often seen feeding on mud-flats and estuaries alongside Two-banded Plovers and White-rumped Sandpipers, but is equally at home further inland feeding on heath and grassland where it generally prefers to nest. Two eggs are laid in a simple hollow amongst vegetation from September onwards. Chicks leave the nest at an early age and feed themselves under the watchful eye of the adults. Adults and chicks feed on a wide variety of invertebrates, from insects and burrowing larvae found in heath and grassland, to marine invertebrates taken from rockpools. During the breeding season Rufous-chested Dotterels are readily identified by their chestnut breasts, but during the non-breeding season the birds are much drabber in appearance.