Pluvianus aegyptius Linnaeus, 1758, Egypt. Monotypic.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Crocodile bird, Egyptian courser; French: Pluvian fluviatile; German: Krokodilwдchter; Spanish: Pluvial.
7.5–8.3 in (19-21 cm); 2.6–3.2 oz (73–92 g). Small, plover-like, with gray back, buff underparts and boldly marked black and white head-and-neck pattern.
Tropical Africa from Senegal to Ethiopia, and south to Angola and Congo (Zaire).
Major lowland rivers with sand and gravel bars.
In pairs when breeding, but may form flocks of up to 60 birds when moving about according to changes in water level.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds on invertebrates, mainly insects, caught by running after prey on ground or by a leap into the air; may also probe and scratch in damp sand for food.
Breeds mostly in dry season when river levels low. Lays two to three eggs in deep scrape in sand, incubating eggs in partly buried position for 28–31 days. Eggs may be wetted with soaked belly plumage in hot weather. Chicks leave nest as soon as hatched, but may be buried in sand by parents when disturbed; parents may wet sand over chicks in the heat of the day. Young fly when about five weeks old.
Common in suitable habitat, but some populations may be threatened by damming of rivers. No longer occurs in Egypt, where first described, so numbers may be dropping in parts of range.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Copyright © 2016-2017 Animalia Life | All rights reserved