Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fiesty Lapwings

Red-wattled Lapwings are fiesty parents - no other word for it! I watched them use two principal devices to protect nests and chicks from potential predators: "Please-eat-me" and "dive-bombing". Adult lapwings with a brood of newly hatched chicks went into conniptions as a female, very mangy Jackal trotted out into the field they were in. The adults - quite amazingly - sat down in front of the Jackal taking to flight only when the Jackal almost caught them. I watched this pair in Rae Bareli (top photo) successfully lead the Jackal away with this please-eat-me technique. Another parent lapwing literally dive-bombed four Sarus Cranes each roughly 10-times its size when they came too close to a nest that was being incubated. For some reason, the chicks of the year recieved most of the violence (bottom photo) with feathers flying when contact was made. This happened in Etawah. (Photograph dates: top - May 20, 2009; bottom - Apr 11, 2009).

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