Masked Lapwing

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Vanellus miles


Size 35-38cm.

Black cap, dusky brown back with white neck and underparts. Some have a black band from the back of the neck and around the shoulders. Each wing has a yellow spur. The bill and eyes are bright yellow, with a yellow mask above the eyes extending to wattles hanging down each side at the base of the bill.

Feeding Habits

They feed alone, in pairs or small groups, looking on the ground for insects, larvae and earthworms.


They lay their eggs in a scrape on open ground, defending the nesting area aggressively, diving at intruders and sometimes striking with their wing spurs. The male shares nest preparation, incubation and raising the chicks.

Places to Look

Man-made mown areas such as parks, roadside edges, and golf courses, natural open areas near swamps, lagoons, salt marshes and beaches.


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

© Birdlife Townsville
© Birdlife Townsville
© Birdlife Townsville

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