Crab plovers
Dromas diversity
Crab Plover (right) and Black Crab Plover (left) walking together. They will occasionally come in contact with each other.
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Aequorlitornithes
Order: Charadriiformes
Suborder: Lari
Family: Dromadidae
Genus: Dromas
G.R. Gray, 1840

This article contains made-up species!
This article contains made-up species not found on Earth. They will be highlighted in pink.

Crab plovers (Dromadidae, Dromas) are family and genus of birds in the Charadriiformes order. They are found throughout south Europe, Asia and Africa.

Click for etymology

Dromas is from Greek δρομας dromas, meaning running or τρεχω trekhō to run.[2]


The crab plovers are instantly recognisable, by their massive bill and pied plumage.[3] In both species, both sexes look similar. They are unmistakable, but juveniles may look like gulls;[4] have pied plumages, and stout bills.[5] Both species range from 38–41 cm (15–16 in) in length.[4][5] They may also rest on their tarsi, making them look like gulls.[4]


They differ from other shorebirds not only in structure but in its tunnel-nesting habits, single white egg and nidicolous young.[6]

Distribution and habitat

The Crab Plover (Dromas ardeola) is endemic to the Red Sea region and winters southward along the East African coast.[6] The Black Crab Plover (Dromas nigra)[made-up sp.] is found along the coasts of Europa, from the United Kingdom to Turkey.[alt. univ.]

They live along sandy coasts, estuaries, lagoons, exposed coral reefs and mudflats.[4]


  1. ^ "Dromas ardeola". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Jobling, J. A. (2014). Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology. In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2014). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 December 2014).
  3. ^ (2003). Christopher Perrins, ed. Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds. Firefly Books. ISBN 1-55297-777-3. 
  4. ^ a b c d Arlott, Norman (2009). A Field Guide to the Birds of the Palearctic Non-Passerines. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd. ISBN 9780007155651. 
  5. ^ a b Pande, Satish; Pramod Deshpande and Niranjan Sant (2011). Birds of Maharashtra. Ela Foundation. ISBN 9788190695589.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthor= (help)
  6. ^ a b Zimmerman, Dale A.; et al. (1999). Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Princeton University Press. p. 432. ISBN 0691010226. 
Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
Sterna diversity This article is part of Project Bird Families, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each bird family, including made-up families.
Hemipus picatus This article is part of Project Bird Taxonomy, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on every order, family and other taxonomic rank related to birds.
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