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Nikon P80 hand held, better if viewed larger :)
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Photographed in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
Masked Lapwing : Vanellus miles are large, ground-dwelling birds that are closely related to the waders. They are mainly white below, with brown wings and back and a black crown, they have large yellow wattles covering the face, and are equipped with a thorny spur that projects from the wrist on each wing. The spur is yellow with a black tip. Young Masked Lapwings are similar to the adult birds, but may have a darker back. The wing spur and facial wattles are either absent or smaller in size.
The Masked Lapwing is common throughout northern, central and eastern Australia and is also found in Indonesia, New Guinea, New Caledonia and New Zealand. They inhabit marshes, mudflats, beaches and grasslands and are often seen in urban areas. Where this bird is used to human presence, it may tolerate close proximity; otherwise it is very wary of people, and seldom allows close approach. Masked Lapwings feed on insects and their larvae, and earthworms. Most food is obtained from just below the surface of the ground.
They breed when conditions are suitable. Both sexes share the building of the nest, which is a simple scrape in the ground away from ground cover and is often placed in inappropriate locations, such as school playing fields. Both sexes also incubate the eggs and care for the young birds which are born with a full covering of down and are able to leave the nest and feed themselves a few hours after hatching. The Masked Lapwing is notorious for its defence of its nesting site. This is particularly the case after the chicks have hatched. Adults will dive on intruders, or act as though they have a broken wing in an attempt to lure the intruder away from the nest.
Source : The Australian Museum website “Birds in Backyards” and personal experience.