July 25, 2017 – White-tailed Lapwing or White-tailed Plover (Vanellus leucurus)
These lapwings are found in parts of the Middle East, northeastern Africa, and Asia. Their diet includes a variety of invertebrates, including beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars, worms, and mollusks, as well as some small vertebrates. They capture prey near the water’s surface while wading, or sometimes while swimming, and also forage on dry ground. Breeding in small colonies, they build their nests in shallow scrapes, sometimes lined with plant material and surrounded by mud. Both parents care for the chicks and aggressively defend them from predators.
June 7, 2017 – Grey-headed Lapwing or Grey-headed Plover (Vanellus cinereus)
Breeding in parts of northeastern and eastern China and neighboring areas of Russia and Japan, these lapwings winter in Nepal, northeast India, Bangladesh, southern China, and parts of Southeast Asia. Though their diet is poorly known, they likely eat insects, worms, and mollusks, foraging while wading. Monogamous pairs defend breeding territories in wetlands, building nests on the ground from grasses. Both parents incubate the eggs and defend the chicks. Multiple pairs may join defensive flocks to mob predators that enter their territories.
May 26, 2017 – Red-kneed Dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus)
Requested by: @gepwin
These plovers are found in wetlands across Australia and the southern part of New Guinea. Their diet includes small crustaceans, insects and their larvae, and seeds. Foraging along the water’s edge, they search for prey in the mud while walking, wading, or sometimes swimming. Their nests are scrapes in the ground, which may be lined with grasses and sheltered by bushes. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks. Young birds can swim immediately after hatching and often swim to shelter in thick plants when in danger.
May 14, 2017 – Banded Dotterel, Double-banded Plover, Tūturiwhatu, Tuturiwhatu, or Pohowera (Charadrius bicinctus)
These dotterels are found in New Zealand, Fiji, and southern and eastern Australia. They eat a variety of invertebrates, including crustaceans, worms, flies, spiders, beetles, and a variety of aquatic insects, along with some berries. Pairs are territorial, defending their shallow scrape nests which they usually line with stones or shells. Both parents incubate the eggs and often draw predators away from the nests by pretending to be injured. Mammalian predators, including cats, stoats, hedgehogs, and rats are common threats to eggs and chicks.
April 24, 2017 – Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus)
Breeding in eastern Siberia, southern Mongolia, western China, the Himalayas, and sometimes Alaska, these plovers migrate to eastern and southern Africa, the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, and rarely, western Europe. Foraging singly or in small groups, they eat insects, crustaceans, mollusks, marine and annelid worms, and occasionally seeds. Females lay clutches of around three eggs in scrapes on the ground, sometimes near bushes, large rocks, or in the footprints of cattle. Males do most of the incubation and parenting of the chicks.
April 8, 2017 – Banded Lapwing (Vanellus tricolor)
These large plovers are found in much of western, southern, and eastern Australia, as well as Tasmania. They forage in very short grass for insects, worms, spiders, mollusks, and occasionally seeds, darting quickly after their prey. Breeding after rains, they build scrape nests on the ground, lining them with dry grasses and sometimes sheep droppings. Parents defend their nests aggressively, flying at humans that get too close and often using a broken-wing display to distract predators.
April 4, 2017 – African Three-banded Plover (Charadrius tricollaris)
Found in parts of central and southern Africa, these plovers were previously lumped together with the Madagascar Three-banded Plover as a single species. They eat insects and their larvae, crustaceans, small mollusks, and worms, foraging near the edge of the water alone, in pairs, or in small flocks. Pairs nest along the shore in scrapes in sand, dry mud, gravel, or rocks.