Birds – Crook-billed Plover

We may here mention the remarkable Crook-bill Plover (Anarhynchus frontalis) of New Zealand, in which the long, slender bill is curved strongly to the right at about two thirds its length from the base. This curious little bird is about eight and a half inches long, cinereous gray above and white below, with a broad white band on the breast and a white forehead. Buller has called attention to the fact that the black pectoral band is far more conspicuous on the right-hand side, since from its peculiar feeding habits there is less necessity for protective coloration on this side. The curved bill, instead of being a deformity or hindrance, as was at first supposed, is found to be of particular assistance in securing its food of insects and worms under stones and pebbles.