The Masked Lapwing, or ‘Spur-winged plover’ is frequently seen in pairs, on the ground, in natural and altered environments. It prefers places with short grass i.e. nature strips, parks, golf courses and paddocks, typically near water. It feeds on crustaceans, worms, insects, leaves and seeds. It lays three to four olive coloured eggs with brownish blotches, usually on the ground in a scrape, or a nest made from twigs, grasses and other debris.
Chicks leave the nest soon after hatching. It aggressively defends its territory and young in the breeding season, between June and October, diving at intruders but rarely making contact. It’s two bony spurs protruding from it’s shoulders can be used against predators. It pairs for life. It’s familiar ‘kekekekeke’ call, can be heard at any time, often at night.
Illustration: Mark Trinham