Black-shouldered Lapwing vs. Masked Lapwing

To: Kurtis Lindsay <>, "" <>
Subject: Black-shouldered Lapwing vs. Masked Lapwing
From: martin cachard <>
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2015 01:58:18 +0000
Hi Kurtis,

I can say that up around the Cairns area, we see Masked as the norm by far the 
great majority of the time.

I also see intermediate individuals here too, but far less commonly - they vary 
from almost pure-looking and large Black-shouldered (rarely), to seeing 
individuals looking much more like but still aren't pure Masked (less rarely, 
but still not common). These Masked-looking birds here display varying degrees 
of Black-shouldered traits, such as overall body size & leg length, wattle 
shape & size, black patches on 'shoulder', and black down along nape.

During many trips by myself to the Lake Eyre basin in recent times, I would say 
that pretty much all the lapwings seen there are are at both extremes, and 
everything else in between as well !!

What does this mean, I wonder??

Cheers for now,

Martin Cachard,
Trinity Beach, Cairns.

> Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2015 10:11:37 +1000
> From: 
> To: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Black-shouldered Lapwing vs. Masked Lapwing
> 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'.
> Confused?
> 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 (
>  writes:
> " 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
> Queensland.
> Regards,
> Kurtis Lindsay
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