Masked Lapwing
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. masked lapwing
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  • An Australian Softbill
  • Scientific Name: Vanellus miles
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin: Northern and a southern sub-species
  • Origin / Distribution: Found in all states of Australia including Tasmania and the islands off Tasmania.
  • Habitat In Wild: Usually found in a wetter environment than the banded lapwing.
  • Status In Wild: Secure
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Secure, but not common. Has adapted well to irrigated pasture and crop lands as well as urban areas.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: ?
  • Best breeding years (estimate): ?
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Colour mutations: No
  • Availability: specialist breeders
  • Temperament: They are shy, wary birds even when in urban areas. In the wild the masked lapwing is a fairly sedentary bird, unlike the fairly nomadic banded lapwing.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $80
  • Description Of Adults: 
  1. Length: Approx. 330 - 380 mm (or approx 13 - 15 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. ? gms (or approx ? ozs)

The other Lapwing found in Australia is the Banded Lapwing, Vanellus tricolor. Also known as the banded plover or the black breasted plover.
The masked Lapwing has a prominent wing spur.

Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws: Refer to "Government Laws" page.

Housing Requirements: Click on "Softbills" web page for full details on the housing of  Softbills or read on for specific details for this finch.

Diet / Feeding: Click on "Softbills" web page for full details on the nutrition of  Softbills or read on for specific details for this finch.

Nesting: A basic overview only.

  • Roosting nest: Yes / No
  • Nesting months: Southern Australia July - December. Northern Australia November - June.
  • Nesting receptacles: Nest is made on the ground.
  • Nest: The nest is a depression in the ground and is lined with dry grasses and other plant material. Sometimes the nest may be unlined.
  • Who incubates the eggs: Hen / cock / both share.

Breeding: Egg Colour yellowish green to olive-brown, blotched all over with dark brown black and sepia. Clutch/s per year 1 or 2. Eggs per nest 3 - 4. Incubation approx. 28 days. Fledge approx. .?. days/weeks. Independent approx. .?. days/weeks.

The parent birds will aggressively defend the nest and surrounding area.

The young leave the nest within hours of hatching and are fed and protected by both parent birds. The parents and young take cover in grasses and pasture.

In the non-breeding season they may be found in large flocks and will roost in groups.

Artificial incubation, hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.  Refer "Specific References" as listed below and "General References" listings.

Health Issues: Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new birds or sick birds are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site. Refer above option - "Avian Health Issues" web page.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References: Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • Australian Birdkeeper

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