Southern Masked Lapwing

The Southern Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles novaehollandiae) is a common birld in the Charadriidae family and Vanellinae sub-family of plovers, lapwings, and dotterels.

The Southern Masked Lapwing has a rounded body, brown on its upperside and white on its underbelly and neck. It has distinctive black markings on its shoulders and the sides of its chest. It has a black crown and nape, with a yellow face and small, black eyes. It has small yellow wattles (skin) hanging from its neck. It has reddish-brown legs.

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Grey Plover

The Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) is a medium-sized bird. It is also known as the Black-Bellied Plover. 

The Grey Plover is grey with blackish-brown markings, and white patches on its back and wings. Its face and neck are blackish with a white border. It has a blackish chest and belly and a whitish back. Its tail is white with black barring. Its beak and legs are black. When it moults (loses its feathers), it is plain grey-brown above with a greyish-flecked chest and white belly. 

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Three-Banded Plover

The Three-Banded Plover (Charadrius tricollaris) is also called the Three-Banded Sandplover. It is a small wetland wading bird from southern Africa.

The Three-Banded Plover has brown upperparts and white underparts, with two black chest bands separated by a white band, which make the three bands. Its head has a black crown, a white ‘headband’ (called a supercilia), and a grey face. Its eye-ring is red. Its beak is red with a black tip.

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What’s the difference between African Plovers: Crowned, Spur-Winged and Long-Toed?

Plovers are wetland or shorebirds, found on mudflats. Of 64 species worldwide, 27 species are native to Africa.

The Crowned Plover (Vanellus coronatus) has yellow eyes.

The Spur-Winged Plover (Vanellus spinosus) has red eyes.

The Long-Toed Plover (Vanellus charadrius crassirostris) has cherry-red eyes with black pupils.


The Crowned Plover has a black and white crown (top of head).

The Spur-Winged Plover has a black crown.

The Long-Toed Plover has a white crown.

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Long-Toed Plover

The Long-Toed Plover (Vanellus charadrius crassirostris) is also called the Long-Toed Lapwing. It is found in eastern and southern Africa.

It is a long-necked marsh plover with a white face and throat, black neck and chest, and grey-brown wings and upperparts. Its beak is pink with a dark tip. Its eyes are cherry-red with a black pupil. Its legs and feet are pinkish-red with three long front toes.

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Crowned Plover

The Crowned Plover (Vanellus coronatus), which is also called the Crowned Lapwing, is from the Red Sea coast of Somalia to southern and southwestern Africa. Coronatus means crown.

It is related to the Black-winged Plover (or Black-winged Lapwing).

The Crowned Plover is a wetland wading bird, with brown and white coloured feathers, and a black crown intersected by an annular white halo. It has a pink beak and pink legs.

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