Masked Lapwing

Sometimes, for me anyway, it's easy to overlook the more common garden guests we get. And that's a bit of a shame, as they are sometimes extremely interesting in their own right.

Take the Masked Lapwing for example, hardly a day goes by that we don't have a one or two stalking the lawn in search of little critters to eat - yet we haven't posted about them until now - very remiss of me.

Vanellus miles

The Masked Lapwing is a member of the plover family and round here go by the name of 'Road Turkeys' due to their near suicidal habit of standing on the road and waiting until the very last second before leaping out of the way of on coming traffic.

They tend to lay their eggs [usually three or four], in shallow scrapes and will defend the nest vigorously from poachers and thieves by dive bombing intruders and sometimes striking with spurs they have on the leading edge of their wings.

They're noisy and quite comical with lots of attitude and a real presence. In fact the garden would be a much poorer place without them around...

Venomous Bird?
I have been told that the spurs on these birds legs are venomous and that if captured they will be used in defence causing some nasty wounds ~ unfortunately, I can't confirm that but would be really interested to know if this is indeed the case.