Thursday, November 03, 2005


Photo by Ian Montgomery, Birdway
I mow a property down the road and for several weeks now one of these birds has been walking around the backyard there. I’ve always called it a Plover, but googling for a pic has confused the issue: it could be a Spur-Winged Plover (vanellus miles novaehollandiae) or a Masked Lapwing (vanellus miles) or as the picture above is titled, a Masked Lapwing (vanellus miles novaehollandiae). It’s a seemingly carefree little creature, and spends most of its time on the ground, walking around, as these birds generally do.

But today something funny happened. It was walking as usual, not far from the mower, but not watching where it was going. Suddenly it stumbled, and then - it fell over!!

It jumped back up again and went on walking, but I couldn’t believe it. A bird can stumble and fall? I can’t remember ever seeing a wild animal even stumble before, let alone fall on its face. The dogs stumble sometimes, and cows, and certainly people do. But birds?? Funny.