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White-fronted plover

Birds of Namibia

Introduction: White-fronted plovers (Charadrius marginatus) are one of the most common resident coastal shorebirds, inhabiting mainly sandy shores and coastal dunes, estuaries along large rivers and lakes. They can be observed in pairs or small groups but larger flocks of up to 400 are not uncommon. Communal roosting in the breeding season often sees these plovers to defend 2 territories, nesting and feeding.

Distribution: Coastal Namibia, Etosha National Park, Caprivi, Epupa Falls.

Diet: Forages mainly during low tide for insects such as sandflies, termites, grasshoppers, crabs and worms.

Description: Often confused with Kittlitz's plover which is darker, especially on the underparts.

Breeding: Between 1 and 3 eggs are laid in a scrape in the sand between December and January. Incubation period is around 30 days and eggs are cared for by both adults. Eggs and regularly raided by mongooses, crows, African black oystercatchers, spotted thick-knees and domestic dogs. Even though nests are laid near a high water mark, flooding, high tides add to poor nesting successes.

Size: 108mm. Weight: 50g.

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Namibia Tours