Crab-Plover or crab plover is a bird related to the waders, falls in the family of Dromadidae. The relationship with the Crab-plover or crab plover within the Charadriiformes is unclear; some have considered it to be closely related to the thick-knees, or the pratincoles, while others have considered it closer to the auks and gulls.
Structure of Crab-Plover
Crab-Plover or Crab Plover resembles a plover, but has very long grey legs and a strong heavy black bill similar to a tern. The black-and-white plumage of Crab-plover and long-necked upright posture with heavy bill makes it distinctive and unmistakable. The bill of Crab-Plover is unique among waders, and specialised for eating crabs. It has partially webbed toes. The plumage is white except for black on its back and in the primary feathers of the wings.
Sounds of Crab-Plover
Crab-Plover are noisy birds, calling frequently on their breeding sites and in their wintering grounds. The usual call is a 'ka' similar to that of the bar-tailed godwit but repeated rapidly. The flocks of Crab-plover may produce a whinnying sound that rises and at in the breeding season and produce whistling kew-ki-ki notes.
Sexes of Crab-Plover
The males and females Crab-Plover are not easily distinguished but males have a heavier and longer bill. Juveniles have the black on the mantle, greyish and remain in this plumage for a year. Flocks fly in lines or "V" formations. The crab-plover is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
Residence of Crab-Plover
Crab-Plover is the permanent resident on the coasts and islands of the Indian Ocean, where it feeds on crabs and other small animals. They are gregarious and will feed in large groups, at night and during dawn and dusk as well as during the day; this crepuscular and nocturnal behaviour is more common during the breeding season.
Breeding of Crab-Plover
Crab-Plovers breed around the Arabian Sea of Pakistan, Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and Somalia in the months of April to July then disperse across the Indian Ocean in August as far as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Sri Lanka in the east and Tanzania and Madagascar