I was away with family in Winchester for a couple of days over the beginning of Easter and missed some of the great response to the Blue tit uploads - many thanks.
I have not had time to work on new material for a little while so today is archival - there are several different medium sized plovers in Africa but these three have a distinct 'crown' for reasons that are not clear to me as some of the others occupying similar habitat do not.
V1 is the ubiquitous 'Kiwiekie' or Crowned Plover ( Vanellus coronatus ) - a common dry land plover that prefers open short, stony grassland or dry cultivated fields.
V2 is a White crowned Plover ( Vanellus albiceps ) which occupies the habitat on the edges of rivers streams and dams.
V3 is a Blacksmith plover ( Vanellus armatus) which occupies shallow wet habitat on the waters edge or in wet vleis and marshes.
All have a sharp spike on the shoulder which is used aggressively in defense of breeding territory against even very large animals. All have loud and distinctive calls, are agile flyers and are unafraid to advertise their space to warn other creatures off - v4 shows the spike. The 'crown' and the calls may function in defense and aggression as the other medium sized Vanellus plovers are more cryptically coloured and much quieter.
Sorry about the lecture but it could have been much longer - hope you like them. A
Tags: Wildlife and nature
Crowned plover White crowned plover Blacksmith plover Habitat Southern and central africa
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