Appearance The Blacksmith Plover is a medium sized bird, 12" (31cm), although one of the larger Plovers. Described by many ornithologists as a 'Pied Plover', meaning 'black and white', the Blacksmith Plover features grey on its upper wings. It has a white hindneck and forehead, above a black face, neck and breast. Its back and tail are also black, the latter contrasting with a pure white rump. When seen in strong sunlight, the black areas show hints of blues and olive green. Its bill, legs and feet are black. It's most distinguishing feature are its bright red eyes.
Habits The Blacksmith Plover is generally seen in pairs. It is a noisy bird and divebombs any intruder, especially if breeding.
Diet The Blacksmith Plover eats insects, crustaceans, other invertebrates and sometimes small vertebrates. They hunt by either standing stock-still or running and pouncing. Occasionally, they are seen 'foot-trembling', to dislodge prey.
Resident The Blacksmith Plover is commonly found in the Great Rift lakes of Kenya, north to Lake Baringo, as far south-east as Lake Jipe and north-west to Maralal. Sometimes found along the Tana River and Tsavo East. Seen along muddy shores of both fresh and alkaline lakes & rivers and nearby grasslands.
Extra Facts The Blacksmith Plover's call is a 'klink, klink, klink', from which it gets its name - sounding just like a Blacksmith hammering on an anvil.
Photographs Photographed in Kenya's Nairobi National Park.