Ian’s Bird of the Week – Southern Lapwing

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Southern Lapwing ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 5/24/16

It is, I regret more than a month since last bird of the “week” so you have probably given me up for lost or worse, unless of course you’ve been so busy too that you haven’t noticed. Anyway, I’m now at Brisbane airport waiting for a flight, so you have my undivided attention for at least half an hour.

Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis) by Ian

I’m continuing the series of global Lapwings, with a South American one, the Southern Lapwing. It’s crest gives it a superficial resemblance to the Northern Lapwing of Eurasia, but it’s not a very close relative and used to be in its own monotypic (single species) genus.

Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis) by Ian

It has a wide distribution from the tip of Tierra del Fuego in the south to Nicaragua in Central America. Interestingly, there are two Lapwing species in South America (the other is the Andean Lapwing) but none in North America, odd given the almost global distribution of Lapwing species so one would wonder how their ancestors got around.

Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis) by Ian

The Southern Lapwing lacks the gentle manners of its Northern counterpart and is noisy and aggressive like the Masked Lapwing of Australia. In fact, in Brazil and Chile it is often kept with wings clipped as a guard ‘dog’. Maybe I should get one to get my own back on my neighbour’s Great Dane who often wakes me in the middle of the night.

Another reason why I’ve been slack about the bird of the week is that I haven’t been doing much bird photography. That I hope is about to change. I’m on my way to Vienna at the moment with the intention of spending a week birding with my sister Gillian in Slovakia en route to my nephew’s wedding in Ireland (her son Ian), so I hope I’ll have some interesting photos for you soon.

Greetings
Ian


Lee’s Addition:

And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Lev 11:19 KJV)

I was beginning to wonder where Ian had traveled to, because, like he said, no newsletter had been sent. Glad he is busy, but miss his newsletter adventures. What a beautiful Lapwing.

Like Ian, we haven’t done much birdwatching either. Now that our wintering birds have flown north, except for our locals, birdwatching has slowed down. There are plenty of tales to tell from previous unpublished adventures. So, stay tuned!

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Red-wattled Lapwing

Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Red-wattled Lapwing ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 4/19/16

While we’re on the subject of Lapwings, here is a rather smart Asian one, the Red-wattled Lapwing, which bears more than a passing resemblance to its close relative the Banded Lapwing of Australia. The Banded Lapwing differs in having a yellow eye-ring and yellow base to the bill, pink legs, and the black and white pattern on the head and neck is different too.

It’s usually found near water, like this one on the Yamuna River which flows through Delhi but is otherwise fairly catholic in its habitat preferences, which include cultivated land and it is quite common in some densely populated areas. Both House Crows and humans like its eggs but in India it has taken to nesting on pebbled roofs and walls instead of on the ground. This probably doesn’t inconvenience the crows too much, but studies have shows that this leads to a spectacular increase in hatching and fledging success. Like all plovers, the chicks are mobile at an early age but don’t fly till much later, so you’d wonder how well they fare running around on rooftops. Maybe they bounce well.

Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus) by Ian

It was originally described from Indian specimens, hence the specific name indicus. In fact it ranges quite widely from Turkey in the west through the southern part of the Middle East to all of southern and southeast Asia. The original type found in India is the nominate race, but three other sub-species are described. I came across the western race aigneri in Dubai a couple of years ago, third photo, when visiting an equestrian park where the main attraction was – no not horses – the Cream-coloured Courser This race has larger and paler than the Indian one, but otherwise rather similar. There is a third race in Sri Lanka and a fourth in southeast Asia which has a white cheek above a completely black collar and is also called the Black-necked Lapwing.

Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus aigneri) Western Race by Ian

The fourth photo shows a juvenile bird of the western race at the same place. The red wattle is incompletely developed, the crown is brownish and there are pale streaks on the throat. Otherwise, it is quite like the adult.

Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus aigneri) Western Race by Ian

Many thanks for those of you who responded to my successful call for house-sitters. I’m sorry to have disappointed some suitable applicants, but I’ll keep you in mind for future opportunities.

Greetings
Ian

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Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818

el 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Bird Photos http://www.birdway.com.au/
Where to Find Birds in Northern QueenslandiTunes; Kobo Books
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au

Lee’s Addition:

“And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.” (Leviticus 11:19 KJV)

What a great looking bird. I like the clean lines on them and the stately look of that first photo especially. Thanks, Ian, for sharing this beautiful Lapwing with us.

Lapwings are one of the birds in the Bible listed not to eat. These are too pretty and their legs are too skinny. :)

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Ian’s Bird of the Week

Birds of the Bible – Lapwing

Bats

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Bible Birds – Lapwings II

White-crowned Lapwing (Vanellus albiceps) at NA

White-crowned Lapwing (Vanellus albiceps) at NA

And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:19 KJV)

The White-crowned Lapwing above was my first Lapwing encountered. They were at the National Aviary in Pittsburg, PA. They are from the tropical regions of Africa and have a diet of insects and other small invertebrates. (Fun Fact from Aviary) ~ White-headed Wattled Lapwings will bravely defend their territories against all comers, even hippos!

Now almost every zoo we visit has at least one species of Lapwing present. We see the Masked Lapwing most frequently. The reason Lapwings are mentioned in the Bible is because it is on the “Do Not Eat” list.

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) Brevard Zoo by Lee

And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Deuteronomy 14:18 KJV)

The Masked Lapwings are interesting to watch as they walk around on their long legs and as the “wattle” wiggles.

Vanellinae are any of various crested plovers, family Charadriidae, noted for its slow, irregular wingbeat in flight and a shrill, wailing cry. Its length is 10-16 inches. They are a subfamily of medium-sized wading birds which also includes the plovers and dotterels. The Vanellinae are collectively called lapwings but also contain the ancient Red-kneed Dotterel. A lapwing can be thought of as a larger plover.

The traditional terms “plover”, “lapwing” and “dotterel” were coined long before modern understandings of the relationships between different groups of birds emerged: in consequence, several of the Vanellinae are still often called “plovers”, and the reverse also applies, albeit more rarely, to some Charadriinae (the “true” plovers and dotterels).

In Europe, “lapwing” often refers specifically to the Northern Lapwing, the only member of this group to occur in most of the continent. (Wikipedia)

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Here are some photos of Lapwings in the Vanellinae genera.

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Birds of the Bible – Lapwing II

White-crowned Lapwing (Vanellus albiceps) at NA

White-crowned Lapwing (Vanellus albiceps) at NA

And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:19 KJV)

The White-crowned Lapwing above was my first Lapwing encountered. They were at the National Aviary in Pittsburg, PA. They are from the tropical regions of Africa and have a diet of insects and other small invertebrates. (Fun Fact from Aviary) ~ White-headed Wattled Lapwings will bravely defend their territories against all comers, even hippos!

Now almost every zoo we visit has at least one species of Lapwing present. We see the Masked Lapwing most frequently. The reason Lapwings are mentioned in the Bible is because it is on the “Do Not Eat” list.

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) Brevard Zoo by Lee

And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Deuteronomy 14:18 KJV)

The Masked Lapwings are interesting to watch as they walk around on their long legs and as the “wattle” wiggles.

Vanellinae are any of various crested plovers, family Charadriidae, noted for its slow, irregular wingbeat in flight and a shrill, wailing cry. Its length is 10-16 inches. They are a subfamily of medium-sized wading birds which also includes the plovers and dotterels. The Vanellinae are collectively called lapwings but also contain the ancient Red-kneed Dotterel. A lapwing can be thought of as a larger plover.

The traditional terms “plover”, “lapwing” and “dotterel” were coined long before modern understandings of the relationships between different groups of birds emerged: in consequence, several of the Vanellinae are still often called “plovers”, and the reverse also applies, albeit more rarely, to some Charadriinae (the “true” plovers and dotterels).

In Europe, “lapwing” often refers specifically to the Northern Lapwing, the only member of this group to occur in most of the continent. (Wikipedia)

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Here are some photos of Lapwings in the Vanellinae genera.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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National Aviary – Pittsburgh, PA

Charadriidae – Plovers Family

Birds of the Bible – Lapwing

Birds of the Bible

Bible Birds

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Banded Lapwing

Banded Lapwing (Vanellus tricolor) by Ian

Banded Lapwing (Vanellus tricolor) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Banded Lapwing ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 08-05-10

Banded Lapwing (Vanellus tricolor) by Ian

Banded Lapwing (Vanellus tricolor) by Ian

There are two species of Lapwing in Australia. One, the Masked Lapwing, is widespread, common and well-known throughout northern and eastern Australia and Tasmania. It’s familiar because it is at home in populated areas, large, aggressive when nesting, and always noisy when disturbed, even at night, a real larrikin, to use an Australian expression. The other, the Banded Lapwing is the opposite. It’s smaller, quieter, uncommon, not well-known and wary, occurs in drier country away from people, and altogether much more dignified.

Banded Lapwing (Vanellus tricolor) by Ian

Banded Lapwing (Vanellus tricolor) by Ian

It occurs mainly west of the Great Divide and south of the Tropic of the Capricorn, including Tasmania, though there is a small resident population in the dry, cattle-grazing country south of Townsville, north of its usual range. A friend of mine took me there last Sunday so that I could take some photos. Previously, I’d seen them only in Victoria and Western Australia.

Masked Lapwings have large, pendulous, yellow, facial wattles that make them look rather ridiculous, but larrikins don’t worry about appearances. Banded Lapwings have small discreet red wattles, that combine tastefully with the yellow eyes and bills and black, white and tan plumage; presumably the scientific name tricolor refers only to the plumage. The birds – we found about ten – allowed close approach in the car and eventually seemed to get quite used to my presence, though the curious cattle came over too and got in the way a lot.

Banded Lapwing (Vanellus tricolor) by Ian

Banded Lapwing (Vanellus tricolor) by Ian

I concentrated on a group of 5 birds, one of which was a juvenile – the third photo – so the birds had bred recently. Juveniles have small, pale wattles and camouflaged plumage. One pair of adults came quite close to the car and eventually mated. Banded Lapwings are supposedly monogamous and I wondered whether this pair were the parents of the juvenile bird.

Lapwings form a sub-family within the Plover family and there are about 25 species world-wide in every continent except North and Central America. I’ve chose a pair of Yellow-wattled Lapwings – from India as the current Old World pick for comparison. This pair is also mating, so either Lapwings like doing it in public or I like photographing them doing it: the choice is yours.

Other current picks include:
Australia: Red-capped Robin
New World: Blue-footed Booby
Other Wildlife: Koala

Links:
Masked Lapwing
Banded Lapwing

I recently spent a night at a Bed and Breakfast place in Alligator Creek recently opened by friends of mine, Colin and Helen Holmes. Alligator Creek is about 25km south of Townsville and close to the Mount Elliott section of Bowling Green Bay National Park. Their house is set in several acres of land with plenty of trees and shrubs right on the Creek. It’s a delightful place and very comfortable and you’ll be well looked after and supplied with a lavish breakfast. I can recommend it highly, so if you’re looking for somewhere friendly and peaceful to stay near Townsville check out their website: http://www.alligatorcreekbedandbreakfast.com.au/ .

Best wishes,
Ian

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: +61-7 4751 3115
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au
Website: http://birdway.com.au


Lee’s Addition:

The Banded Lapwing is part of the Charadriidae  Family which includes not only Lapwings but also Plovers, Dotterels and a Wrybill. There are 67 species in the family. They are in the Charadriiformes Order which has 19 families.

The Lapwing is one of the Birds of the Bible. See the Lapwing page.

And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Lev 11:19 KJV)

See all of Ian’s Birds of the Week

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Birds of the Bible – Lapwing

The Lapwing is only mentioned twice in scripture and both times in a list of “unclean” birds. “But these are they of which ye shall not eat,” says Deuteronomy 14:12.

And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:19 KJV)
And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Deuteronomy 14:18 KJV)

The only Lapwing in North America is the Northern Lapwing and then that has only been seen in isolated sightings. They are on the List of Birds of Florida. They are found in Europe and Asia near wetlands, coastal pastures and short-grass meadows or fields. They are in the same Order as Gulls, Terns and Plovers. In Europe there is also a Sociable Lapwing and a White-tailed Lapwing. “Most of the Lapwings seem to feed on insects and small prey from grasslands. They lay their eggs in nest on the ground and very protective of their young. They feign injury or will lead intruders away. If that doesn’t work, they are known to attack, even humans. They are medium sized about 12-13 inches with long legs. Their heads have a striking pattern with a wispy crest. Their behavior reminds me of a Killdeer.

Apparently the Lapwing was mentioned in three of Shakespeare’s plays: Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing and Measure for Measure

Return to Birds of the Bible Index

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