15 September 2013

Masked Lapwing Plover

Very territorial, and a don't come any further glance accompanied with a loud shriek (from the plover that is), if I tried.  My original plan had been to sit near the waters edge and photograph some more Darters and Cormorants. 

A pair of Plovers in potential attack-mode kept me at a safe distance.  They were no doubt protecting a clutch of eggs or young ones somewhere near.  Their eggs are not easy to spot, since they blend into the ground very easily, even though they'll lay them in a makeshift shallow scraping of turf or dirt out in the open.




Now you can see those spurs at the base of each wing.

they actually look quite sharp don't they?



Something amazing  .... according to Birds in Backyards fact-sheet here: The young birds are born with a full covering of down and are able to leave the nest and feed themselves a few hours after hatching.  



This clutch was sited right alongside a concrete walking path at Sth. Tacoma, on the Central Coast, while the front-end of a parked vehicle, was all but hovering over the top of them! 




18 comments:

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That is a totally amazing bird! I don't think I'd want to mess with him...if the penetrating stare didn't scare me away, those spurs would. Fabulous pictures. And I had no idea there were any birds able to care for themselves immediately upon emerging from the egg .

Brian King said...

Awesome photos, Carole! I love your shot of the eggs!

Margaret Adamson said...

I remember the first time I came to Australia and didn't know about these birds and there ways, nor did I see one sitting on eggs and I got too close and the other bird swooped down and attached me. Learned that lesson quickly!! great shots.

Digi-Irma said...

Hi Carole,
Beautiful pictures of this beautiful bird species.
The nest with eggs is super.
Greetings Irma

Isidro Ortiz said...

Excelentes capturas.Un abrazo

Stewart M said...

These are funny birds! My early memories of these birds is of them holding fort in the middle of roundabouts and generally looked stressed!

I still like them, even if they can be a bit noisy!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Christian Perrin said...

Great photos of an imposing little bird! I like hearing your interaction with it as it fleshes out the personality of the Plover - any other bird would've just flown away!

Those spurs look very sharp. As a kid, I thought of these birds as being some kind of terrible beast that would stab you with their wings, but as far as I can tell, the spurs are ornamental???

eileeninmd said...

Wow, birds with spurs! They are awesome looking Plovers. Great shots of the birds and the eggs. Thanks for sharing, have a happy day!

Montanagirl said...

What an interesting looking bird! So glad I became a blogger...I'm learning a lot, and seeing birds I would otherwise not even known existed! Your photography is exceptional!!

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I have never seen pictures of this bird before. What an interesting arrangement of features it has. Nature has some intention in mind no doubt. Bird eggs are fascinating in their markings and colors, these being a wonderful example. Thanks for the showing this bird.

grammie g said...

HI Carole... So interesting to your birds there, ones I would never see, that's one reason I like blogging!!

This one is certainly a sharp looking fella !! Love the yellow eyes and the yellow flow right down to beak!!

Great information and how about those eggs!! : )

Grace

TexWisGirl said...

wow! those spurs! eek! plovers pick the worst nesting sites, ever!

Jeanne said...

Awesome shots Carole! and these spurs look a bit like they could do some damaage!

Wout said...

This bird is new to me, which you won't see in Europe.
Beautifully photographed.

Regards, Wout

Carole M. said...

thanks for your comments everyone, and to Christian, apparently the plovers can inflict some injury to predatory animals or perhaps even humans with a spur scraping while they're swooping. As far as I can tell with humans they try to bluff you before they'd attack you seriously, but fortunately I haven't been in that situation

Roy Norris said...

What a strange bird Carole, the head doesn't appear to go with the body. Great shots.

Jan Castle said...

WOW...what long legs!!!

Seraphina´s Phantasie said...

Marvelous photos of this special bird and the eggs. Ihope, you are well.
Best regards, Synnöve