Skip to main content

Egyptian Plover

Egyptian Plover at the Milwaukee County Zoo
The Egyptian Plovers have long been one of my favorite birds at the Milwaukee Zoo, but before I got my new camera I could never get good shots of the enclosure. Well my photo drought has ended!

I'm drawn to this little bird by its small size and striking, contrasting colors. What a looker! This, and their nesting habit (which we will get to later) make them a very distinctive shorebird.

Egyptian Plovers can be found living near sandy riverbeds throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. They are sometimes called "Crocodiles Birds" due to a 5th century BCE account by Herodotus stating that they pick food from between a Crocodiles teeth. The story has persisted, but there is no actual proof that the birds engage in this risky feeding behavior.

In reality, Egyptian Plovers feed on insects, seeds, and the occasional mollusk. They tend to remain sedentary, and breeding pairs will aggressively defend their territory. These couples will produce 2-3 eggs at a time which they bury them in the sand! Burying the eggs helps to keep them warm, and also helps to protect them from the eyes of hungry predators. But sometimes the eggs get too hot, so in order to cool them down the parents will wet their feathers and use the water to chill the eggs. Baby Plovers leave their "nests" when they are only a day old, though they will stick around their parents for about a month.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Sub-Saharan Africa
Size : Length up to 8in (20cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Charadriiformes
Family : Pluvianidae -- Genus : Pluvianus -- Species : P. aegyptius


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a

10 Years?!

My goodness! It's been 6 years since I went on hiatus, and now more than 10 years since AaD was born, and what a world we've moved in to! Animal a Day is coming back- but in the meantime, check us out on Facebook, for your daily dose of #BIRDNEWS


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!