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Vanellus miles

Northern and eastern Australia, New Zealand

The Masked Lapwing, once referred to as the Masked Plover, is named for its distinctive yellow beak and mask. The Lapwing is a brown-backed bird with a white breast and belly. It is known to have a wide range of shrill calls that it will use day or night. Since this bird lives on the ground, it must use these calls to communicate with other Lapwings in the area to announce danger or to call to its young. This causes a state of constant alert that leads to the Lapwing never resting fully; resulting in a very shy, skittish disposition around humans. However, these birds are territorial and have been known to attack other birds, cats or dogs that wander into its home. The Masked Lapwing lives in pairs of a nearly identical male and female and can sometimes be found living in groups.

Habitat: Wetlands or moist, open areas
Diet: Insects and worms
Status: Least Concern (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: Length: 14 inches
Weight: 13 ounces
Lifespan: Up to 20 years.
Reproduction & Offspring: 3-4 eggs laid at a time. 28-30 day incubation period.


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