Egyptian Plover

About the Egyptian Plover

Also known as: Crocodile Bird

The Egyptian Plover is a wader, also called Crocodile Bird for its symbiotic relationship with crocodiles. According to a story dating to Herodotus, the plovers fly into crocodiles' mouths so as to feed on bits of decaying meat that are lodged between the crocodiles' teeth.

Egyptian Plover is a localised resident in tropical sub-Saharan Africa. It breeds on sandbars in large rivers. It is a striking and unmistakable species. It is a very tame bird found in pairs or small groups near water. The call is a high-pitched krrr-krrr-krrr.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 16 March 2007
Scientific Name
Pluvianus aegyptius
  • Charadriiformes
  • Charadriidae
  • Pluvianus
  • P. aegyptius
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 6 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
7.5 to 8.3 inches

International Names

Czech (Cesky) Běhulík Pestrý
Danish (Dansk) Krokodillevogter
Dutch (Nederlands) Krokodilwachter
Finnish (Suomi) Krokotiilinvartija
French (Français) Pluvian Fluviatile
German (Deutsch) Rosenköpfchen
Italian (Italiano) Guardiano dei Coccodrilli
Japanese (日本語) ナイルチドリ (Nairuchidori)
Norwegian (Norsk) Krokodillevokter
Polish (Polski) Pijawnik
Spanish (Español) Pluvial
Swedish (Svenska) Krokodilväktare
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The myth of the Crocodile Bird

The myth of the Crocodile Bird

The Egyptian Plover is a beautiful species of wader that lives in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the common name, their present range does not extend to any part of Egypt. The ... more