The common ringed plover forages on open ground, at both day and night, for a variety of invertebrates, including crustaceans, isopods and various insects (2) (5). Relying heavily on its strong eyesight to locate its prey, food is plucked from on or close to the surface with its short beak (4). Underground prey is enticed to come to the surface by ‘foot-trembling’, whereby the bird stands on one foot and rapidly taps the other on the ground, imitating the vibrations of rainfall (2) (4). Small feeding territories may be defended from other plovers, particularly on intertidal flats which are rich in food, but when not foraging, birds congregate to roost together, often close to the feeding ground just above the high water mark (2) (5). Usually the common ringed plover collects into small flocks of up to 50, but on occasions large groups of between 1,200 and 1,500 birds have been seen (2) (5).
Eggs are laid between April and mid-July in a nest which is no more than a shallow scrape in the ground lined with pebbles and vegetation (2). The nests are usually fairly isolated from others, but in areas with high food abundance, the nests may be arranged in loose groups, with between 5 and 100 metres between each one (2) (5). There is a high degree of site fidelity, meaning that more often than not, breeding birds will return to the same area to nest each year (2). The parents are extremely aggressive around the nest and will fiercely defend it by calling loudly and swooping at intruders (4). Usually four eggs are laid per brood, at intervals of one to three days, and are subsequently incubated by both the male and female for some 21 to 27 days. The chicks fledge after around 24 days in the nest, but few survive past their first year, although those that do may live to 10 years of age (2).