Masked Lapwing

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Masked Lapwing
Conservation status: Lower risk (lc)
Missing image
Maskenkiebitz_-_Masked_Lapwing_-_Vanellus_miles.jpg
Masked Lapwing


Masked Lapwing
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Charadriidae
Genus:Vanellus
Species:V. miles
Binomial name
Vanellus miles
(Boddaert, 1783)
Subspecies
  • V. m. miles
  • V. m. novaehollandiae

The Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) is a large, common and conspicuous bird native to Australia, particularly the northern and eastern parts of the continent.

Masked Lapwings are best known for their bold nesting habits, being quite prepared to make a nest on almost any stretch of open ground, including suburban parks and gardens, school ovals, and even supermarket carparks. The nesting pair then defends its territory against all intruders, calling loudly, swooping fast and low, and where necessary striking at the interloper with the conspicuous yellow spur on the carpal joint of the wing.

Masked Lapwings are most common around the edges of wetlands and in other moist, open environments, but are adaptable and can often be found in surprisingly arid areas.

There are two distinct races which until recently were thought to be separate species. The Masked Lapwing of Northern Australia (Vanellus miles miles) has an all-white neck and large yellow wattles, the Spur-winged Plover of the southern and eastern states (Vanellus miles novaehollandiae) has a black neck-stripe and smaller wattles. (Note that the northern hemisphere Spur-winged Plover is a different bird: see Spur-winged Plover.)

Vanellus miles novaehollandiae became self introduced to Southland, New Zealand in the 1930s and has now spread throughout New Zealand.de:Maskenkiebitz

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