Is a plover an Australian bird?

Answered by Jason Smith

A plover is indeed an Australian bird. More specifically, it is commonly known as the Masked Lapwing or Spur-winged Plover. These birds can be found throughout the entire continent of Australia, making them a familiar sight in many regions.

One of the distinctive features of plovers is their long reddish legs, which are well-adapted for wading through wetland areas. These birds are often spotted near the shores of swamps, lakes, and other water bodies, where they can forage for food. Their large yellow facial wattles, or fleshy lobes of skin, are another characteristic that sets them apart.

The plovers’ choice of habitat is not limited to a particular part of Australia. They have a wide distribution and can be found in various habitats across the country, including coastal areas, grasslands, farmlands, and even urban parks and gardens. This adaptability is one of the reasons why plovers are so commonly seen throughout Australia.

Having spent a considerable amount of time observing and studying these birds, I have come to appreciate their presence and behavior. Plovers are known for their distinctive call, which is a loud, repeated “keek keek keek” sound. This call can often be heard echoing across wetlands and open grassy areas. It is believed that plovers use their calls to communicate with each other and establish their territories.

I remember one particular encounter with a pair of plovers while visiting a lake in Australia. As I approached the shore, I noticed the distinct sight of two plovers standing together, their yellow wattles shining brightly in the sunlight. I paused to watch them, fascinated by their graceful movements and alert demeanor. Suddenly, one of the plovers let out a loud call and took flight, circling above me in a display of territorial defense. It was a remarkable sight, and it left a lasting impression on me.

In addition to their striking appearance and vocalizations, plovers are also known for their nesting behavior. They build simple nests on the ground, often in open areas with good visibility. The nests are usually just a shallow scrape in the soil, lined with some vegetation. Plover eggs are camouflaged, with mottled brown and white markings that blend in with the surroundings. This adaptation helps to protect the eggs from potential predators.

It is worth noting that while plovers are native to Australia, they can also be found in other parts of the world. They are known by different names in different regions, such as the Spur-winged Plover in New Zealand. This global presence further highlights the adaptability and wide distribution of these fascinating birds.

Plovers, specifically the Masked Lapwing or Spur-winged Plover, are indeed Australian birds. They can be found throughout the entire continent, inhabiting a range of habitats and displaying unique characteristics such as their long reddish legs and large yellow facial wattles. Their distinctive calls, nesting behavior, and adaptability make them a true icon of the Australian avian fauna.