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Crowned plover

Crowned plover
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul van Slooten (pvs) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-02-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Alfa dSLR A100, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX APO DG, Digital RAW 200, UV Filter
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Krugerpark feb/mar 2007
Theme(s): Birds of South Africa 1, Kruger National Park 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-04-16 10:15
Viewed: 4340
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi All,

Here an upload of a bird we have seen a lot in the southern part of the krugerpark,this one was standing on a sandy hill,hope you like it

Crowned Plover

Geographic Range

Resident in eastern and southern Africa, crowned plovers are found from Ethiopia in the north to South Africa in the south and east to Kenya. Recorded as high as 3000 m above sea level, this bird is absent from coastal lowlands south of Malindi and from much of the Lake Victoria basin.


Crowned plovers are widespread over Africa. They are found where the grass is short or has been burned, such as on dry grassland, open savanna, and cultivated lands. Habitats with low rainfall are acceptable as long as the lacking of precipitation does not affect food availability.

Physical Description

Female crowned plovers are identical to males. Adults are uniformly brown on the back and chest. The white belly is separated from the breast by a narrow black line. The tail is white with a broad black band while underneath the tail and wing are also white. The crowned plover has a broad, diagonal white wing-stripe. Its black crown is encircled by a white ring. The eyes are yellow during the breeding season and brownish orange when not breeding. The bill is red with a brownish tip, and the long legs are also red. This large plover has a length of 30-31 cm. Juveniles have a duller head pattern.


Breeding occurs in the spring months from July to October. The nest is in a shallow depression in the soil with a lining of vegetation and other debris. The nests are on flat ground near a shade tree and mammal droppings that are the same color as the eggs. There are normally 3 eggs, sometimes 2 or 4. Incubation requires 28 to 32 days and is done by both sexes. Immediately after hatching the young leave the nest while both parents look after them.


Crowned plovers are gregarious, sometimes appearing in flocks of as many as 36 outside of the breeding season. Most often they occur in small groups that are casual aggregations. Territorial behavior is almost nonexistent even during the breeding season. When an alarm call is heard from another plover species, it responds by aerially swarming the intruder. But once the attack is over, the rescuing bird is often chased off by the bird that was in danger in the first place. Because crowned plovers live in open grassland where there is no vegetation to conceal them, they have a highly-developed ability to detect potential predators. Often nesting occurs in close vicinity to other plovers. As soon as hatching occurs the adults change from being quiet and restrained to being exceedingly noisy and aggressive at the approach of a human. The crowned plover is highly conspicuous, it moves by alternating short runs with its body held horizontally with a motionless vertical stance. The crowned plover is highly vocal with a rasping erEEK, an excited kree-kree-kreeip-kreeip or WEEK-EEK-EEK, or a chattering tri-tri-tri-tri.

Food Habits

The crowned plover opportunistically forages on a wide variety of insects, but mostly ants and termites. These insects are often extracted from the dung of large mammals. They feed mainly by surface pecking as opposed to digging. One curious feeding habit of all plovers, which has not fully been analyzed, has been called foot paddling or foot trembling. The plover stamps the ground with its foot. Worms mistake the noise for the pattering of rain and burrow up to the surface where they are eaten by the plover.
Conservation Status

This species is widespread throughout its range and in no need of conservation attention. To make sure the species population remains at a safe size, open African habitats must be maintained.

Other Comments

Plover evolution began late in the Cretaceous period. The plover family Charadriidae is one of the nine families of waders. Of 190 wader species, 63 of them belong to the plover family.

lee, Luis52, Adanac, TAZ, Raptorman, ellis49, XOTAELE, jcoowanitwong, Evelynn, uleko has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • lee Silver Star Critiquer [C: 38 W: 0 N: 23] (84)
  • [2007-04-16 10:20]

Hi Paul, a nice catch of the plover. I do like the sandy hill here. It gives us some variety. Good focus and detail. Good pose, seems like something has got his attention to his left. The lighting gives the photo a moody sence. Good job, thanks.


  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2007-04-16 10:46]

J'aime bien ces compositions presque monochrome.
Bonne journée.

Hi Paul
Nice shot of this Crowned Plover.
Details and colours are good. I think I will crop more tighter, imho.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-04-16 16:36]

Hola Paul.- Jamas habia visto esta especie de ave. Muy hermosos colores y exelente fondo. Muy buena Nota.

Hey Paul,
nice overall colors on this one. I really like that you included the whole bird. Composition is very appropriate and direct. Simple yet effective. Well done.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-04-16 22:27]

Hello Paul,
Great camera work gives us an excellent view of this bird, thanks for sharing and the great note Paul.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2007-04-17 2:27]

Hello Paul,
This bird bends the chest and seems proud ;-)
The "+++" : composition, subject, pose, sharpness, DOF, blurred BG, soft tones, exposure, great complementary note...
The "-" : nothing...
Congratulations and TFS.

Hello Paul , good comp. and colors , but sharpness quality is a slightly low , TFS.

Hi Paul,
a very fine shot with good pose and very nice low POV.
Pity it is a bit soft but it standout well from the BG.
Nice colours and light.
Well done.

Très belle photo avec BG superbe.

Estupenda y completísima nota para un ave al parecer tan pequeña...
Bellos colores y acertado encuadre.
Perfecta exposición, buen BG.
Saludos, JL.

Hi Paul,
Lovely Crowned Plover in its natural environment. The bird stands out from background nicely. Great color tone. Well focused and exposed picture. TFS.

I love your plover against that beautiful OOF background. The soft toning colors throughout the image are lovely. I think the photo may have lost a little sharpness on upload. Do you sharpen after you resize for TN?

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-04-23 2:09]

Hello Paul,
Excellent capture of this beautiful Plover in a smart pose. I love the composition showing sharpness and beautiful colours.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

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