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Dromadidae – Crab-Plover

Crab-plover in India: Photo by Albin Jacob

Welcome to our guides on Dromadidae! Found in arid regions of Africa and the Middle East, this family comprises a single species, the Crab Plover. Known for its distinctive appearance and behaviors, the Crab Plover is a fascinating bird to observe. Stay tuned to learn more about its habits, habitat, and unique characteristics.

Overview of Dromadidae

In the scorching heat of sandy coastlines, this slender shorebird with an oversized bill sustains itself primarily on a diet of crabs. Crab-plovers gather in colonies, sometimes numbering up to 1500 pairs, where they excavate burrows in the sand to shelter a single large egg. Despite the intense temperatures, parental incubation is sporadic, with eggs often left unattended for over two days without noticeable consequences. Interestingly, the hatchlings of these eggs display less precocity compared to most birds in the charadriiform order. Initially unable to walk, they typically remain within the burrow for several weeks before venturing out, during which time they continue to receive parental care and sustenance.