Masked Lapwings

To: "'John Harris'" <>
Subject: Masked Lapwings
From: "Peter Ormay" <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 18:13:50 +1100

Hello John,

I think the greatest danger for Masked Lapwings and other ground nesting birds these days is from foxes and cats. I think that they spend a lot of time in places where they plan to nest and if it feels safe to for them when nesting time comes around they go ahead and nest there. They would have been doing this throughout their evolution and does not necessitate learning or great ingenuity to avoid foxes and cats but was adaptive to avoid dingoes, quolls and tassie devils before they (the tassie devils)were displaced by dingoes on the mainland.



From: John Harris [
Sent: Thursday, 23 January 2014 11:45 AM
To: jude hopwood; COG
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Masked Lapwings


I never cease to be surprised at the ingenuity of lapwings around Gungahlin (and no doubt elsewhere) in choosing to nest in among the traffic on median strips and grassed roundabouts. They have learned, with what appears to me to be remarkable speed, that the safest place is on the grassed median strips – people don’t go there, dogs don’t go there and even the cars stay on the bitumen! The only danger seems to be the mowing contractors so people here put up signs about protecting the nests to warn the mowers. They was recently a problem with the erection of mobile towers on roundabouts but people spoke to the technicians and as far as I know the birds survived. I don’t suppose it is reasonable for us to expect that the lapwings, having thought about people, dogs and cars, to think also about mowers and mobile tower construction!  Ah the problems we all have with advanced technology!








From: jude hopwood <m("","joodee52");">>
Date: Thursday, 23 January 2014 4:31 am
To: COG <m("","canberrabirds");">>
Subject: [canberrabirds] Masked Lapwings and Shoalhaven Wonga pigeons


ML 1. Two and a half weeks ago when cruising through Shoalhaven, Lake Burrell was the centre of Masked Lapwing breeding on footpaths outside many homes along the lake's shore. A wonderful thing although nerve-wracking to see DY running around playing in the grasses with people walking past with dogs on leashes and no attacks from the parent birds! 

ML 2. Further to reports I'd made last year of the desperate and repeated efforts of a pair to breed in an enclosed courtyard at a school where I worked. At least 4 lots of eggs from the same pair were removed by the school gardener before they gave up. Pleas for clemency remained unheard.


Yesterday at Fisherman's Paradise, a pair of Wonga pigeons booming away in the conservation reserve at the boat ramp. Interestingly, the local authorities have developed a formal BMX bike circuit in a small space right next to this dense piece of (weed-infested) forest.


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