Range and habitat: The Egyptian plover is native to sub-Saharan
Africa, lowland tropical rivers with bars of sand and gravel. This bird
can often be found around human settlements near rivers.
Natural diet: The species mainly eats insects, and it also
eats worms, mollusks and seeds.
Size / weight range: The Egyptian plover grows to be 7 to 8
inches long and weigh 45-65 g (1.6-2.3 oz)
Interesting Fact: The climate they live in is so warm during
their nesting season that Egyptian Plovers spend a good deal of the incubation
period cooling their eggs rather than warming them. They accomplish this
by soaking their breast feathers in water and then sitting on the eggs
with dampened feathers. If parents need to leave the eggs or young chicks
for any period of time, they kick sand over them for camouflage. They
are sometimes called “Crocodile Birds” based on claims to have observed
these plovers plucking bits of meat from the teeth of open-mouthed crocodiles.
This symbiotic relationship provides food for the plovers and teeth-cleaning
for the crocodiles. The Egyptian plover is listed as least concern, but
it is locally threatened by habitat changes caused by damming of rivers.