Tuesday, 11 October 2011

World Bird Wednesday - Masked Lapwing



Masked Lapwing – or Spur winged Plovers as they were once called – are familiar birds over much of Eastern and Northern Australia. I tend to see them most often in their natural environment - the grass in the middle of roundabouts, road-side verges, football ovals and under my window when I am trying to sleep in!



We call them “the bird of stress” for their tendency to fly around shrieking for no apparent reason. They will also swoop you if the fancy takes them – and their old name comes from the fact that the have black-tipped yellow spurs on their “shoulders” which they use against predators and otherwise innocent pedestrians!






In the hand they are a remarkable bird, with the yellow face mask feeling like soft leather – but when we do happen to catch one you need ear plugs!



You can find more birds from around the world at World Bird Wednesday.

You can also see the most recent post on my other blog by clicking the Paying Ready Attention picture on the RHS of the screen.

Enjoy the birds.

21 comments:

missing moments said...

Funny name for these guys! Love his yellow face.

TexWisGirl said...

the bird of stress? too funny!!! what a great bird, stewart!

Andrew said...

A beautiful bird to see Stewart..another newbie for me.
Thanks for sharing.

eileeninmd said...

What a cool looking bird, Stewart! I love the face. Fantastic photos.

Modesto Viegas said...

Beautiful bird. I had never seen.
Regards,

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

He's a really neat bird -- and I do know a few people who engage in that "stress" behavior! If they nest on the ground, maybe the behavior is calculated to draw people away from the nest.

Al said...

Nice shots - that's a great-looking bird.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

HI Stewart -- forgive me for using this blog to comment on the other blog coincidentally named "Paying Ready Attention" ;>)... I loved your latest post. I wish I were a three or four or five decades younger -- I would do that hostel thing! You saw wonderful things -- I can't believe those orchids. Just, actually, loved the whole trip. Thanks for sharing.

mick said...

Nice photos but these are not my favorite birds! There's a pair next door that has been swooping me every time I set foot outside my yard!! Not nice at all!!

Jedediah said...

I remember seeing those at the zoo, they reminded me of some alien from Star Wars. Cool birds.

rokssana said...

just nice....happy ww :)

Hilke Breder said...

Strange-looking bird! It's amazing what nature/evolution comes up with. Thanks for posting these photos, Stewart.

Debbie said...

so cute...it looks like he's dressed for winter with his cap and scarf.

joo said...

Interesting bird, I've never seen it before!
Lovely post:)

Gary said...

That mask is great!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Springman said...

Stress bird? Stewart, I thought for a moment you may be joking. To bad such pretty bird has such a despicable disposition. Once again, thanks for the introduction to a smashing new bird.
Cheers to you Sir!

Kerri said...

What a lovely bird!

Kathiesbirds said...

What an amazing bird! I can't believe all this information. "Stress bird" indeed! Remarkable colors and behavior!

Arija said...

Geez, you sent be back into my archives to my spur-wing plovers from 2 years ago. It just shows how unobservant I was, I had not noticed the black tips to those golden spurs. I guess I also never caught any because they never were very noisy when I was around.
Thanks for all the information.

Pat said...

Handsome bird! Great shots!

Kala said...

I like its yellow face! We don't have these birds where I live.

But we do have Blue Jays and their call can be jarring to the nerves.