The Kittlitz’s Plover (Charadrius pecuarius) is a small wetlands coastal bird.
The Kittlitz’s Plover has a white forehead, blackish bar on its head, with a narrow white bar on it crown, throat, and underbelly. Its body and tail are mottled brown. It has a black beak, dark-brown eyes, and black legs.
It measures about 16 centimetres (6 inches) tall.
The Kittlitz’s Plover is native to sub-Saharan Africa. It prefers coastal areas, inland salt marshes, sandy or muddy riverbanks, or grasslands with short vegetation.
It is terrestrial, feeding and nesting on the ground. It runs, stops suddenly to peck on the ground, then continues running. It eats insects, especially beetles, as well as larvae, spiders, crabs, shrimp, and molluscs.
The Kittlitz’s Plover makes a simple nest scrape on open, dry ground. It is lined with shells and pebbles. The female lays 1-3 eggs, and both parents look after them (the male at night and the female during the day). The eggs hatch after 21-27 days.
The chicks leave the nest within a few hours of hatching. They are precocial, which means that they have some feathers and they have their eyes open after hatching. One parent at a time stays with the chicks. The chicks can fly after 26-32 days.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM