Dotterel, Morinelplevier, Mornellregenpfeifer, Borrelho-ruivo, Chorlito Carambolo

Spotted in the Alentejo region of Portugal.                                       Eurasian Dotterel sound  

The Eurasian Dotterel (Charadrius morinellus), or in Europe just Dotterel, is a small wader in the plover family of birds. It breeds in the Arctic tundra of northern Eurasia, from Norway to eastern Siberia, and on suitable mountain plateaus such as the Scottish highlands and the Alps. It nests in a bare ground scrape and lays two to four eggs.

Dotterel Birding Portugal

This species is migratory, wintering in a narrow belt across north Africa from Morocco eastwards to Iran. Migration stopovers are traditional, and small parties (trips) of Dotterels pass through each year at these usually inland arable or grassy sites. The winter habitat is semi-desert.

This plover is smaller and more compact than Eurasian Golden Plover. It has a striking whitish supercilium in all plumages and has plain wings in flight. Adults in summer are unmistakable, with a chestnut breast bordered above with white, black belly and warm brown back. The legs are yellow, and the short bill is black. As with the phalaropes, the female is brighter than the male. The male Dotterel generally is responsible for incubation and looks after the chicks. In most cases the cock dotterel successfully prevents other males from getting his mate and fertilizing her eggs. He usually rears chicks that he has fathered and only 4.6% (2/44) of chicks were not the genetic offspring of the caring male, corresponding to 9.1% (2/22) broods affected.

Winter birds lack the rich underpart colouration, apart from the white breast line, and are greyer above. Young birds are similar but have a scaly appearance to their backs. The Dotterel’s food is insects and other small invertebrates such as snails and worms and shellfish. These are obtained by a run-and-pause technique, rather than the steady probing of some other wader groups. The flight call is a soft pyurr. The female’s song is a simple repetitive whistle.

The Eurasian Dotterel is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

The Dotterel has long been considered tame and unsuspecting. This led to it being easy prey for illegal collection of the bird, which depleted its stocks. Another consequence of the friendly and trusting nature of this bird has caused the name ‘dotterel’ in English to carry a negative connotation. The term ‘dotterel’ is a contemptuous label used to describe somebody who is considered to be a doting old fool. The Gaelic name Amadán has a similar meaning. The dotterel’s friendly nature made it an easy prey for sportsmen: King James I of England went every year to Royston, Hertfordshire to shoot dotterels. They were also prized as a delicacy: in 1534 Queen Anne Boleyn was presented with ” a brace of dotterels”.

Other synonyms:

Asturian: Pollu Berizu, Pollu Brañéu
Breton: Ar morlivid menez
Catalan: Corriol camanegre, Corriol pit-roig, Fuell de collar
Catalan (Balears): Fuell de collar
Valencian: Corriol camanegre
Czech: Kulík hnedý
Welsh: Hutan y mynydd
Danish: Pomeransfugl
German: Mornell, Mornell-Regenfeifer, Mornellregenpfeifer
English: Common Dotterel, Dotterel, Eurasian Dotterel, Mountain Dotterel
Esperanto: morinelo
Spanish: Chorlito Carambolo
Estonian: mornel, Roosterindtüll, Roosterind-tüll, roosterind-tüll (mornel), Roosterind-tüll e. mornel, Roosterindtüll, mornel
Basque: Corriol pit-roig, Txirri lepokoduna
Finnish: Keräkurmitsa
Faroese: Kviðreyð lógv
French: Pluvier guignard
Frisian: Grutte Bûnte Wilster
Irish: Amadán Móinteach
Gaelic: Amadan-Mòintich
Galician: Corriol pit-roig, Píllara rubia
Manx: Feddag volvaneagh
Croatian: Kulik lakrdijaš, Šareni kulik
Hungarian: Havasi lile
Icelandic: Fjalllóa
Italian: Piviere tortolino, Piviere tortolino eurasiatico
Japanese: kobashichidori, Kobashi-chidori
Cornish: Boba buba
Latin: Charadrius morinellus, Eudromias morinellus
Lithuanian: Mornelis
Maltese: Birwina
Dutch: Morinell plevier, Morinelplevier
Norwegian: Boltit, Fjelllo
Polish: mornel
Portuguese: Borrelho-ruivo, tarambola carambola, Tarambola-carambola
Romansh: Gravarel brin
Scots: Amadan-mointich, An tamadan mointich
Northern Sami: Láfol
Slovak: Kulík vrchovský
Slovenian: dular
Serbian: Planinski , Planinski (snežni) zujavac, planinski zujavac, Snežni zujavac
Swedish: Fjällpipare


Travel Birdwatching Holiday Alentejo, Vacation Portugal for birders guided birdwatching Tours and Trips.

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