Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii)
The Greater Sand Plover is a medium-sized shorebird that belongs to the family Charadriidae. It is found in parts of Asia, Europe, and Africa, including the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.
These birds have a distinctive appearance, with a sandy-brown plumage, white underparts, and a black mask around their eyes. They have relatively long legs and a short, straight bill.
Greater Sand Plovers are typically found on sandy beaches, mudflats, and other coastal habitats, where they feed on small invertebrates such as crustaceans, worms, and insects. They are known for their quick movements and can often be seen running along the shoreline in search of prey.
During breeding season, Greater Sand Plovers nest on the ground, laying 2-4 eggs in a small scrape in the sand. They typically hatch after about 4 weeks, and the chicks are able to feed themselves shortly after hatching.
Greater Sand Plovers are considered a near-threatened species due to habitat loss and degradation, hunting, and disturbance from human activity. Conservation efforts are underway to protect their habitats, including the designation of protected areas and the implementation of sustainable land use practices.
Overall, the Greater Sand Plover is an interesting and important species that plays a significant role in many coastal ecosystems in its range.