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Beach Runners

Like other plovers, the White-fronted Plover (Charadrius marginatus) does not build a nest but lays its camouflaged eggs directly into a shallow scrape – above the high-tide line among dried kelp or rocks. The young are precocial, able to walk about after their parents within a few hours of hatching. Dogs are a known predator of the young, and people or vehicles can easily destroys the nests.

These sparrow-sized plovers are resident on the beaches here in Hermanus on the southern tip of Africa. This lively youngster was watched as it followed one of its parents close to Onrus beach. The adult let it explore its surroundings, but made a soft call when it strayed too far. The hatchling then dashed to its parent’s side but soon went off again in search of sand-hoppers and other morsels.

Hermanus, South Africa, December 2014

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