Blacksmith Lapwing, Vanellus armatus
It is not difficult to recognize a Blacksmith Lapwing. Their plumage is boldly marked in black, white, and grey, and they are unlikely to be mistaken for other species. They have grey and black wings, while the rest of the body and the head are boldly patterned in white and black – also the underparts. They also have red eyes. Females are bigger than males, but both sexes generally look alike.
They typically live where their needs are best met, or environmental conditions are most suitable for them to live. If nothing tempts them to stay, they will merely pass through on their way elsewhere. Blacksmith Lapwings prefer areas of short open grassland with plenty of water. Such as mudflats around dams, open gardens, parks, sports fields, sewage pans, rivers, lakes, and estuaries.
They look for food on foot when they run around, scanning the area for small aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates to eat. This includes insects, worms, dragonfly nymphs, larvae, beetles, ants, mollusks, crustaceans, and occasionally some plant material.
During the breeding season, the species often react aggressively to other lapwings that may enter its wetland habitat. Nests are shallow depressions on bare ground or short grass, close to water, and tend to be spaced at least 400 m apart. The blacksmith lapwing breeds in spring, but its choice of nesting site and timing may be opportunistic. The young separate gradually from their parents and do not return to natal areas afterward.
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” ~Frank Lloyd Write
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