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Plover, Kittlitz's

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Johan van Rensburg
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Plover, Kittlitz's

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:57 pm

Kittlitz's Plover, Charadrius pecuarius

This species is predominantly sedentary, but may make local movements related to seasonal rainfall. While breeding they are usually found in pairs or nesting in loose neighbourhood groups with nests 20 m apart. They are gregarious during the non-breeding season, usually occurring in small flocks of up to 20, sometimes even larger groups. Flocks of 100-300 have been recorded. It is diurnal but may feed during moonlit nights. This plover primarily inhabits flat, open, dry ground with very short grass or dried mud, often near the margins of lakes, reservoirs and rivers, or on small permanent and temporary pools, flood plains, dry sandy riverbeds and marshes. It is also found along the coast on dry salt-flats, tidal mudflats, lagoons, salt-marshes, estuaries, sandy beaches with kelp wrack and offshore islands, although it generally avoids rocky coasts. The species less often inhabits airfields, golf courses, overgrazed pastures and ploughed fields.

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Large view

This plover is carnivorous, usually hunting by sight for small terrestrial and marine invertebrates such as beetles, flies, bugs, grasshoppers, the larvae of moths and butterflies, spiders, molluscs, bristle worms, earthworms, leeches and crustaceans.

The nest is a shallow scrape in coarse sand or dry mud, often in an exposed position such as on sand ridges or sand piles, sandy-soil patches in open grassland, or on areas of dried mud devoid of vegetation. Nests are usually within 50-100 m of water, although they may be several km away, and breeding pairs may re-use old scrape nests or utilise natural depressions. Both parents incubate the usual clutch of two eggs. If a potential predator approaches the nest, the adult will walk away from the scrape, calling to attract the intruder and feigning a broken wing. Of course, once the intruder is far enough from the nest, the plover flies off.

The specific name, pecuarius, means "grazer", referring to the grassland habitat.

Kittlitz’s Plover is named after Heinrich von Kittlitz, a German artist, naval officer, explorer and naturalist, a proliffic collector of bird specimen, some unique and some of birds that have subsequently become extinct.
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:49 am

Hi all. Please help me ID this bird. I think it is a plover.
It was seen at the Klipdrift dam near Potchefstroom. On the water's edge.
Not clear pics, as it was overcasted.

It has a whitish eye stripe, that seem to go all the way back/or around the crown. There is a dark Marking from the hind of the eye, going down wards into the neck. I cannot really see any colouration of the chest or sides.
There seems to be a brownish chestband, broad.
The bill seems to be only black. And is rather long?

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby JoelR » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:09 am

Is it the same bird? Then the last photo would clinch it for me as immature Kittlitz's Plover. The light buffy chest is always a good indication for this wader.

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Re: Plover, Kittlitz's

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Fri May 01, 2009 11:58 pm

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Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby anne-marie » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:27 pm

some birds to ID please :D

4) 17.10 near Mopani
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Kittlitz's Plover ?
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby arks » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:39 pm

Nice birdies, anne-marie!

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby deefstes » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:40 pm

You're correct on all three the other birds.
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby anne-marie » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:12 pm

thanks a lot arks and deefstes :D
not easy to identify :?
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Re: Plover, Kittlitz's

Unread postby Wild about cats » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:06 pm

Seen at Mooiplaas Waterhole in December

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Re: Plover, Kittlitz's

Unread postby Adansonia » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:20 pm

Seen in May 2010, on the Tropic of Capricorn loop (S143) North East of Mopani.

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Re: Plover, Kittlitz's

Unread postby Jungle Junkie » Mon May 02, 2011 8:09 pm

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Seen last year at Knysna Lagoon (only ID'd from photo today)
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Re: Plover, Kittlitz's

Unread postby avon vosloo » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:03 pm

Seen at Tihongonyeni Dam near Mopanie - July 2012

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Pumbaa » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:36 pm

Not quite sure about the following bird which we saw on 25.02.12 at Shipandani bird hide in Kruger - My guess would be juvenile Kittlitz's plover

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Maybe some of the experts can help me here :gflower:

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Ladybirder » Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:00 pm

Yes its a Juv Kittlitz. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:25 am

Agreed. :thumbs_up:
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