Definition of dotterel in English:



  • 1A small plover with a brown streaked back and a chestnut or buff belly with black below, breeding in mountainous areas and in the tundra.

    Genus Eudromias, family Charadriidae: two species

    • ‘The report highlights the plight of 20 species, including the song thrush, the corncrake, the crossbill, the capercaillie, the dotterel and black grouse.’
    • ‘Overgrazing on upland pastures is causing the decline of native species including skylarks, curlews and dotterels.’
    • ‘Cairngorm, an ancient home to rare birds like eagles, dotterels and ptarmigan, is a world-class mountain that has rightly attracted a welter of international conservation designations.’
    • ‘Head eastwards across the grassy plateau to Ben Tirran, keeping an eye out for the birds that inhabit Scotland's high moorlands - curlew, ptarmigan, skylarks singing as they rise and, if you're lucky, the shy dotterel.’
    • ‘The name generally applied to birds of the genus Charadrius, which also includes the dotterel.’
    • ‘A high-level two kilometre ridge walk traverses huge swathes of green mosses and sedge, a breeding ground for dotterel.’
    • ‘The birds' arrival locally each spring was eagerly awaited… they were netted wholesale, an operation simplified by the fact that all those years ago the dotterels visited the same fields annually.’
    • ‘On the other hand, species like the dotterel and snow bunting look set to head northwards, leaving British shores for colder climes.’
    • ‘Home to such rare birds as the dotterel as well as a host of arctic wildlife, it is protected by European law.’
    • ‘The mountain, home to rare birds such as the dotterel and a host of precious arctic wildlife, is one of Britain's most ecologically important mountains.’
    • ‘Shore bird numbers are declining, he says, particularly among oystercatchers, red-capped dotterels and beach thick-knees.’
    • ‘Then they objected to the wrong kind of shells being used in rebuilding some nests for dotterels.’
    • ‘Scottish Natural Heritage, the government's conservation agency, has pointed out that Scotland's mountain birds, like the dotterel and the ptarmigan, are also vulnerable to climate change.’
    • ‘In May, the rare dotterel is found in small flocks, called trips.’
    1. 1.1NZ, Australian with modifier Any small plover, especially one of the genus Charadrius.
      • ‘He told me with great delight that two dotterels and their chick were further up the beach.’
      • ‘We used video cameras to monitor nests of the banded dotterel (Charadrius bicinctus), to test whether conventional nest monitoring increased the chances of nests being visited by predators.’
      • ‘I saw three dotterels the other weekend.’
      • ‘The decline of the New Zealand dotterel is due to several factors, but in particular, introduced predators such as cats, stoats and ferrets.’


Middle English: from dote (so named because it is easily caught) + -rel. Compare with dodo.