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Snowy Plover Video Stock Footage
The Kentish plover is a small shorebird weighing around 40g as an adult. Both male and female birds have black bills and dark legs, however adults have dimorphic plumage. During the breeding season, males have a black horizontal head bar, two incomplete dark breast-bands on each side of their breast, black ear coverts and a rufous nape and crown (although there is some variation between breeding populations), whereas the females are paler in these areas, without the dark markings. In the early breeding season, it is easy to distinguish between males and females since the ornaments are very pronounced, but as the breeding season progresses, the differences between the two sexes decrease. Moreover, males have longer tarsi and longer flank feathers than females. Longer flank feathers are thought to be an advantage for incubation and brood care, as the quality of feathers is associated with heat insulation. There are multiple significant predictors of plumage ornamentation in Kentish plovers. Firstly, the interaction between the advancement of the breeding season and rainfall seem to affect ornamentation. Male ornaments become more elaborated over the course of a breeding season in regions with high rainfall, whereas in regions with low rainfall, male ornaments become lighter. Secondly, the interaction between the breeding system and the sex can predict the degree of plumage ornamentation. In polygamous populations, the sexual ornaments are more pronounced, generating a s...
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