The Hooded Plover - Charadrius rubricollis - is a pale-bodied bird with black head, white collar and black band below collar extending down the side of the breast. Red bill with black tip; red eye ring. Back is pale grey-brown, underside white. In flight, outer upper wing panels black and white; tail black with white edging. Orange legs. Grows to 19 to 23 centimetres. Females similar to males. Juveniles are paler overall, brown were adults are black.
Found along the southern coast from mid-New South Wales to about Geraldton, including Tasmania.
Lives on sandy ocean beaches, estuaries and coastal lakes. Also on inland salt lakes of Western Australia. Rarely coastal lakes.
Colouring makes it inconspicuous when stationary. Usually in pairs or small groups, dashing about near the water edge, pecking at the surface; often darting down the beach as waves recede.
Numbers are declining on beaches subject to human disturbance.