The greater sand plover is a carnivorous species that varies its diet seasonally; during the breeding season it feeds mainly on terrestrial insects and their larvae, especially preying on midges, ants, beetles and termites, but also occasionally hunting larger animals such as lizards. During the non-breeding season, the greater sand plover mainly eats marine invertebrates, such as snails, worms, crabs and shrimp (7). Usually feeding at low tide on wet ground, just away from the water’s edge, the greater sand plover detects and catches prey with the help of good eyesight and the ability to sprint over short distances (3). A sociable species, the greater sand plover often feeds and roosts in flocks(3). It typically feeds in flocks of between two and fifty individuals but sometimes congregates in groups as large as one thousand whilst roosting (7), which is mainly done on sand bars at high tide (5).
Relatively little is known about the greater sand plover’s reproductive life, but it is thought to first breed at approximately two years old (8). During the breeding season, it migrates to an open area and builds a nest by scraping a shallow hole in gravel, sand or other barren site (7). It lays an average of three eggs around April and May and both parents care for the brood (3).
The greater sand plover migrates twice a year to and from breeding sites, beginning its migration between June and August, and arriving at wintering areas between July and November. The exact time of the migration and the length of time it takes depends on whether it spends the winter in south-east Asia, east Africa or southern Asia (7).