Black-shouldered Lapwing vs. Masked Lapwing

To: "" <>
Subject: Black-shouldered Lapwing vs. Masked Lapwing
From: Kurtis Lindsay <>
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2015 00:11:37 +0000
Hello all,

Dare I bring up the recent splitting of the former Spur-winged Plover
former Spur-winged Lapwing former Masked Lapwing from the current Masked
Lapwing to re-create the former* Vanellus novaehollandiae* now known as the
'Black-shouldered Lapwing'.


Open up an old copy of Çayley's 'What Bird is That?' or even an early
Pizzey and Knight and you will see that *Vanellus miles* has been split for
longer than it has been lumped.

Up until this most recent taxonomic split, authors including Boles and
Christidis 1995 and 2008 had lumped both 'species' into Vanellus miles.
They were split only as subspecies with *V.m.novaehollandiae* (Masked
Lapwing aka Spur-winged Lapwing aka Black-shouldered Lapwing) and *V.m.miles
*(nominated race - Masked Lapwing).

See info on the recent 'Handbook of Birds of the World' (link below)

 WA Birding Blog (

" These forms also hybridise to produce intermediate-looking offspring,
particularly around the Lake Eyre region. But given the large area of
potential contact, hybridisation is surprisingly limited, and is probably
partly due to recent expansion from our human love of grass. Some past
discussions on birding-aus [9] suggest that hybridisation in the supposed
contact zone in southern Queensland is limited, and in other areas may have
been exaggerated by intentional oversampling of hybrids. So this may well
be a good species deserving of further study, subject to genetic assessment
of gene flow."

So I kick off the discussion with the question. Where have you seen
hybris/intermediate or sympatric Masked and Black-shouldered Lapwing?

I have seen them on a property called "Degulla" north of Alpha and West of
Clermont in the Desert Uplands of Central Queensland. One bird in
particular was a typical 'Black-shouldered Lapwing' one was a typical
'Masked lawping' while all the others were inter-grades of the two.

Here is a photo of a similar 'inter-grade flock' taken at Barcaldine


Kurtis Lindsay
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