Incubation behaviour of the Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula at different latitudes

Kees Wanders, Mohammed Almalki, Oddvar Heggøy, Terje Lislevand, Chris McGuigan, Götz Eichhorn, Geir Wing Gabrielsen, Viktoria Azarov, Leylya Khasyanova, Tamás Székely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


In biparental Charadriinae plovers, male and female incubation duties often resemble daily routines, with males typically incubating at night and females incubating during the day. By analysing incubation behaviour in three Arctic populations of Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, we show that these diel routines are lost in the 24-h sunlight of the Arctic. In contrast, a non-Arctic population in East Scotland exhibited significant daily routines, with males dominating incubation during the late afternoon and night, and females dominating incubation during the early morning and midday hours. These patterns suggest that clear light/dark cycles are necessary for daily incubation routines to form in the Common Ringed Plover, although further research is needed to understand the specific drivers of this behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-833
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Ornithology
Issue number4
Early online date10 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Many thanks to the many helpful researchers who contributed by finding nests and helping with sample collection during field seasons, especially Chiel Boom, Ingrid Pollet, Mo Verhoeven, Jesper Mosbacher, Thomas Lameris, Freya Coursey and Rachael Wilbourn. Thanks also to Mike Bruford and Rachael Wilbourn (again) for their DNA extractions advice, and to Nolwenn Fresneau and Zsófia Tóth for their help with initial processing and storage of the nest camera videos. This work was supported by the National Environmental Research Council (NE/S007504/1 to KW), the Svalbard Science Forum (Arctic Field Grant project 322576 to GWG and KW), the Taif University Researchers Supporting Project (TURSP-2020/225 to MA), the Polar Programme of Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (ALWPP.2016.030 to GE), the Statoil Research fund to OH and TL, the Royal Society (WM170050 and APX\R1\191045 to TS), the National Research, Development and Innovation Office of Hungary (KKP-126949 to TS), and a University of Bath Developing Networks in Europe Grant to TS. All required permissions were granted by the relevant authorities in each country, and the sampling was completed as part of a project approved by the University of Bath’s Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body.

Data Availability Statement

The final dataset and analysis code have been deposited onto Zenodo (, along with the custom code used to transform the BORIS data output, and some example clips from nest cameras. Raw data exports from BORIS, as well as nest camera videos, are available upon request.


  • Arctic
  • Diel routine
  • Incubation
  • Latitude
  • Parental care
  • Plover
  • Shorebird
  • Wader

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


Dive into the research topics of 'Incubation behaviour of the Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula at different latitudes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this