Say, does this Crab Plover speak Malayalam?

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It’s winter and the migrants are swarming our coasts. Not as many as in years past, birders crib, but we take what we get.

The Crab Plover (Dromas ardeola) is a bird of decidedly unique appearance. It found along the coasts of Asia and Africa, where it chases after crabs and deftly pries them open with its highly specialized steak-knife of a bill. We Ogres ran into these lovely waders first on the sandbars of Bhadreshwar Beach in coastal Kutch in 2009, where they large numbers of Crab Plovers had congregated.

I found this juvenile Crab Plover last week in Purakkad beach, Alappuzha, Kerala on Christmas day, as it took a leisurely stroll on the sands. Being single, it allowed me to get close and take a few close portraits. Full Frame, as we photographers say — to our delight and to the envy of others like us!

Sandy

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