Taking them under the wing

A friend alerted me to a pair of Masked Lapwings Vanellus miles raising some chicks on a roadside reserve in Newstead. When I first arrived, the adults were obvious, but the young not so apparent. I did notice that one bird looked a tad bulky. And with perhaps a few too many legs.

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

One bulky and multi-legged Lapwing.

Before too long, the parent stood and three tiny chicks emerged from the warmth under her wings and started foraging. A fourth emerged from under the other adult.

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

A cuteness overload

Whilst the parents were very watchful of there young and aggressively moved on any bird that came close, the young were not afforded the luxury of being fed by the adults. They had to do their own foraging in the little wetland left after the rain. Ad they seemed very successful in getting quite a bit of food out of the boggy ground.

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

Getting a sizeable worm.

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

Bigfoot! The mask is already developing.

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

Stretching tiny wings

The chicks would periodically head back for warmth under the wings of the adults. Is this where the expression “taking someone under one’s wing” comes from?

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

Can I come back in? The formidable spurs of the parent can be seen in this one. Plenty of warmth for the chicks and fire for any perceived threat. I took these photos from the safety of my car.

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

And a couple more to fit in.


11 responses to “Taking them under the wing

  1. Such wonderful parents

  2. Great family pics. Not often you would get to see that.

  3. a fabulous post thanks Geoff. Love the fat bird with many legs !

  4. Patrick Kavanagh

    Thanks all, they were a delight to watch from the safety of my car & with a very long lens to keep a good distance

  5. Reblogged this on Sharon Greenaway and commented:
    These are rare images for me to have seen, (not taken by me) but too fabulous not to reshare. If you love birdlife then I suggest you follow this wonderful central victorian site

  6. Helen Wakefield

    Just beautiful!

  7. Wonderful story Patrick about a day in the life of… Your shots are so descriptive.

  8. Lovely shots Patrick!

  9. These are amazing !
    Thank you

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