RFI - how do you deal with swooping lapwings?

To: "Trevor Hampel" <>
Subject: RFI - how do you deal with swooping lapwings?
From: "Chris Sanderson" <>
Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2007 18:39:56 +1000
Hi Trevor,

Lapwings usually don't hit people, if they do it's by accident.  After all,
would you deliberately run into something that much larger than you?  I've
always found that two things help with Lapwings.  The first is to always
face them.  They seem highly reluctant to dive if they can see your face.
The second is to skirt the nest area as much as possible.  If the nest is on
one side of the street, cross on the other.  If they're crossing a field to
get to the road, go along the outside of the field.  Lying down is probably
the worst thing you could do - the Lapwing is trying to get rid of you, if
you lie down it probably things you're trying to hide so you can get closer
to the nest.

So my reccommendation boils down to them trying to stay as far away from the
nest as possible, move quickly through the area, and face the Lapwing when
it is trying to make a dive at you.

Another thing you can tell the lady is why they do it (if she doesn't
already know).  Cats, dogs and people are responsible for a lot of egg
crushing or chick deaths and the birds are just trying to protect their
babies.  I had a pair in my local park in Brisbane that hadn't successfully
bred in the 5 years I monitored them.  They had eggs at least twice every
year.  On at least one occasion I caught local kids picking up the eggs and
running away laughing.  They didn't laugh so much when I told them they
probably just killed two living creatures.


On 9/1/07, Trevor Hampel <> wrote:
> Yesterday on my birding blog I had a very worried mother ask a
> perplexing question about dealing with swooping plovers (lapwings).
> I am looking for solutions to her problem. Here is what she said:
> "My 4 children (5, 7, 9 and 11) were attacked this morning by a group of
> plovers (a few pairs)they all have young at the moment. They were on
> their way to the bus stop and the plovers separated the children and
> were swooping and dive bombing them. They arrived back home shrieking
> and crying they were so unsettled by the experience. Having come on the
> internet to see what to do, I have read that they usually do not attack
> groups… 2 of my children lay on the ground to show they were not
> hostile. We do not have an alternate route to take … any ideas on what
> we can do?"
> Do readers of Birding-Aus have any solutions?
> You can reply to the list, to me personally or on my blog in the
> comments section here:
> Thanks for your help.
> Trevor
> --
> Trevor Hampel
> Murray Bridge
> South Australia
> Check out my BLOGS (web logs):
> Trevor's Birding - observations and photos of birds at
> Trevor's Travels - travels in Australia, Thailand and Nepal at
> Trevor's Writing - read some of my writing at
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