Pluvianidae – Egyptian plover

The janitors of the bird world

Popularly known as the crocodile bird, it is a wader and the genus Pluvianus’ lone member. The plover is one of several linked to the “trochilus” bird, referenced in a putative cleaning symbiosis with the Nile crocodile.

The Egyptian plover is a distinctive and easily identifiable bird. The adult, 19–21 cm (7.4 – 8.2 in) in length, has a black crown, back, eye mask, and breast band. White covers the remainder of the head. The rest of the upper part plumage is blue-grey, with orange underparts. The blue-grey legs are long and slender.

This normally docile bird can be found near water in couples or small groups. It eats insects by pecking at them. Unfortunately, people frequently approach it closer than is safe because of its tameness.