Blacksmith Plover (Vanellus armatus)
a.k.a. Blacksmith Lapwing

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.

The Blacksmith Plover is generally seen in pairs. It is a noisy bird and divebombs any intruder, especially if breeding.

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.

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.

Photographed in Kenya's Nairobi National Park.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:bird, blacksmith lapwing, blacksmith plover, kenya, lapwing, plover, wildlife

Blacksmith Plover ~ Leg Raised

Blacksmith Plover, walking in water, its leg raised high.

Blacksmith Plover ~ Pair

Pair of Blacksmith Plovers, hunting for prey amongst rocks.

Blacksmith Plover ~ Standing

Blacksmith Plover, standing stock-still, surverying mudflats.

Blacksmith Plover ~ In Water

Blacksmith Plover, standing in deep water, a leg raised very high.

Blacksmith Plover ~ Portrait

A close-up image of a Blacksmith Plover, showing just its head and shoulders.

Blacksmith Plover ~ Running

Blacksmith Plover, walking and running alternately, through grass, to surprise its prey.

Blacksmith Plover ~ In River

Blacksmith Plover, standing on mud, in a nearly dried-up river.

Blacksmith Plover ~ Face-on

Blacksmith Plover, walking across mud, face-on to the camera.

Blacksmith Plover ~ Showing Spur

Blacksmith Plover (Lapwing), walking, foot raised.  Also showing the spur attached to the bend in its wing, through its breast feathers.

Blacksmith Plover ~ Head Portrait

A portrait of a Blacksmith Plover, showing its head, shoulders and chest.