Fun Egyptian Plover Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
Apr 27, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Ambuj Tripathi
Egyptian Plover facts about the bird that co-habits with crocodiles.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 4.1 Min

The Egyptian plover (Pluvianus Aegyptius) is also called the crocodile bird. This species belongs to the family Pluvianidae and the genus Pluvianus. They are not only the sole members of the genus Pluvianus but the sole members of their family Pluvianidae.

They are found in sub-Saharan Africa. These birds are often misjudged to be trochilus.

They have a cleaning symbiotic relationship with the crocodiles where they fly in the crocodile's mouths and clean its teeth. That is why these birds are said to be very courageous. Egyptian Plovers have a unique way of greeting each other by raising their wings.

Here are some of the most fascinating facts about the Egyptian plover bird for your perusal. Afterward, do read our other articles on black-bellied plover facts and mountain plover facts as well.

Egyptian Plover Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Egyptian Plover?

The Egyptian plover, pluvianus aegyptius, is a bird. It is a small-sized bird with striking colors.

What class of animal does an Egyptian Plover belong to?

The Egyptian plover, Pluvianus aegyptius, belongs to the class Aves. This crocodile bird has a family and genus solely dedicated to them.

How many Egyptian Plovers are there in the world?

There are 15,000-57,000 Egyptian plover birds in the world. Their population trend has been decreasing for the crocodile bird.

Where does an Egyptian Plover live?

The Egyptian plover lives in Sub-Saharan Africa. This crocodile bird species is found in wetlands such as rivers, lakes, ponds, etc.

What is an Egyptian Plover's habitat?

The Egyptian plover's habitat is based near a water source. The crocodile bird is found near sandbars in large rivers. They prefer lowland rivers. They settle near wetlands such as lakes and rivers. This crocodile bird is also found settling near human settlements.

Who do Egyptian Plovers live with?

Egyptian plovers live in pairs with their species. Sometimes these crocodile birds are seen forming small groups. This bird can be normally seen cleaning the food bits from inside the mouth of the crocodile.

How long does an Egyptian Plover live?

The lifespan of the Egyptian plover of the family Pluvianidae is estimated to be around five to six years.

How do they reproduce?

Egyptian Plover breeds on sandbars in large rivers. These birds do not build a nest. Their eggs are buried in the warm sand.

The crocodile bird smooths out this warm sand over the eggs when they fly away in search of food. They lay two to three eggs in a clutch that is buried in warm sand. The Egyptian Plover babies can run as soon as they hatch from their eggs.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Egyptian Plover is the least concern. But their population has decreased in the past 40 years.

Egyptian Plover Fun Facts

What do Egyptian Plovers look like?

Egyptian Plovers fly directly into crocodiles' mouths to clean their teeth.

The Egyptian plover is a colorful species. This bird has gray-blue upper parts and orange underparts. The back, breast band, eye mask, and crown of crocodile birds are black. The remaining parts are white colored. Their legs have the same color as their upperparts

How cute are they?

The Egyptian plover of the family Pluvianidae is very cute. Their colorful bodies are a beautiful sight.

How do they communicate?

The Egyptian plover uses sounds for communication. This bird has a high-pitched sound. One of the vocals of the crocodile bird sounds like a 'krr-krr-krr'.

How big is an Egyptian Plover?

The Egyptian Plover is a small to medium-sized bird. It has a length of 7.4-8.2 in (18-22cm) and a wingspan of around 19-20 in (48-50cm). It is 2 times bigger than a sparrow.

How fast can an Egyptian Plover fly?

The speed with which an Egyptian plover can fly is currently unknown.

How much does an Egyptian Plover weigh?

The small size of the Egyptian plover leads to its little weight. They usually weigh between 2.8-3.1 oz (55-75g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male Egyptian plovers are called cocks and the females are called hens.

What would you call a baby Egyptian Plover?

A baby Egyptian plover is called a chick.

What do they eat?

Egyptian plovers are carnivorous birds. They eat insects, worms, and other invertebrates. They also eat meat from the mouth of Crocodiles stuck in their teeth.

Are they dangerous?

They are not friendly towards humans but not dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

Plovers are not suitable as pets as they are illegal to keep capture or harass them.

Did you know...

The Greek historian Herodotus has written several articles on Egyptian Plovers long before they were placed in their family.

Egyptian plovers after a flight land down together and as a way of greeting touch their wing feathers to each other.

Egyptian Plovers and crocodiles

The Egyptian plover and crocodile facts state that the crocodile bird has a relationship of cleaning symbiosis with the crocodiles. Crocodile birds fly into the crocodile's mouth when they are lying on the shore with their mouths open and feed on bits of meat stuck in their teeth.

This cleans the crocodile's teeth and that is why they don't eat crocodile birds, even when they are in their mouths!

What does Egyptian Plover mean?

Egyptian plovers are known as crocodile birds and are the only member of the genus Pluvianus.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including Boreal Chickadee Facts, or Common Poorwill Facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Egyptian Plover coloring pages.

Egyptian Plover Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Insects, Worms, and other Invertebrates

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

2-3 eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?

2.8-3.1 oz (83-88 gm)

What habitat Do they Live In?

sand plains, deserts

Where Do They Live?

sub-saharan africa

How Long Were They?

7.4-8.2 in (19-21 cm)

How Tall Were They?

19-20 in (48-51 cm)







Scientific Name

Pluvianus aegyptius

What Do They Look Like?

Blue-Gray, Black, White, Orange

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

habitat loss

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern

sub-saharan africa

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

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Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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Fact-checked by Ambuj Tripathi

Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

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Ambuj TripathiBachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ambuj is a skilled fact checker with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University. He has been recognized for his exceptional content writing skills, having won a CineMedia competition. In addition to his writing abilities, he also has a flair for design.

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