No Nest for the Wicked, Northern New South Wales, South-East Queensland, Australia

No nest for the wicked @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
No nest for the wicked @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

No rest for the wicked!

The wicked @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
The wicked @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Masked lap-wings are wicked in any common sense.

Truly devoted @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Truly devoted @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

These birds are truly devoted parents.

Reflections and shadows @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Reflections and shadows @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

And I have my deepest respect for their tireless efforts. This is a 24/7 kinda full-time job.

Nesting @ Woody Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Nesting @ Woody Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

This pair of ‘parents to be’ are still hatching their eggs.

Team effort @ Woody Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Like many birds, they share nesting duties as a tag-team. Incubation time is estimated at around 25 days.

Calm days @ Woody Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Calm days @ Woody Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

This proud mother has a few more days until her brute will hatch.

Late brute with only two eggs @ Woody Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

She might as well enjoy a relatively relaxing time.

Fletch for fantasy @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Fletch for fantasy @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Once the chicks fletch the nest, very stressful times are ahead.

Watching on @ Deception Bay, South-east Queensland, Australia

Day and night. Masked lap-wings don’t sleep.

Scattered @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Scattered @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Four tiny fur balls scatter open grasslands in all directions are supervised by two adults.

Careful over there! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Careful over there! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Communication within the parents and their chicks plays a major role to successfully raise their offspring.

Safety first @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Safety first @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Keeping their chicks safe and alive is a prerogative and keeps lap-wing parents on their tip-toes.

Beach stroll @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Beach stroll @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

No matter what size or shape possible danger may harm their chicks, these brave musketeers have the courage to defend them. Interestingly, masked lap-wings have a broad variety of defence strategies.

Oi! Over here! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Oi! Over here! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

They range from deception, misleading and undercover tactics. If all this fails, they raise their swords to attack. I had the opportunity and pleasure to watch a few masked lap-wing parents with their offspring in several locations.

Eye opener @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Eye opener @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

It was an eye-opening experience.

Furry ping-pong balls @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Furry ping-pong balls @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

 Masked lap-wing chicks welcome our world as tiny and fragile fur balls, barely the size of a ping-pong ball.

Got it! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Got it! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

They need to eat and grow as fast as they can.

Weakest link @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Weakest link @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

They are the last link of the food chain anywhere.

Footsteps @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Footsteps @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

These little birdies are merely snack size.

Surviving @ Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Surviving @ Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Unfortunately, the odds are against them, particularly in human settlements.

Watch where you’re going @ Deception Bay, South-east Queensland, Australia

Masked Lap-wing chicks are a handful and keep their parents extremely occupied.

Roam if you want to! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Roam if you want to! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

They will roam their natural habitat for insects and worms, just as their parents do.

Cute @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Cute @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

How cute are they?

Fixated @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Fixated @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

It is the lap-wing parent’s fixation to protect them.

Yellow masquerade @ Woody Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Yellow masquerade @ Woody Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Their bright yellow mask is a visual deterrent, a flying ninja.

Growing mask @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Growing mask @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

It is only attached to their eye socket and grows with time to an impressive veil.

Calling out! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Calling out! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

These birds carry a broad variety of calls, which vary in length and tone.

Where are they now? @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Where are they now? @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Their parents retain a careful eye out for their fragile chicks and warn them if possible danger approaches.

Alarm! @ Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Alarm! @ Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Once the parents sound the alarm call, the chicks need to hide, so no one can seek.

Spot the chick @ Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Spot the chick @ Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Their spotted plumage is ideal to hide-out undercover. A bush of grass will do.

Clever move @ Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Clever move @ Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Another chick ran under the gate. This is a very clever move as the wired fence prevents attacks from aerial predators.

Motionless @ Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Motionless @ Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia

If I didn’t see them hurrying to their hiding spots, I would have never spotted them. There, they maintain motionless whilst the lap-wing parents instigate a distraction manoeuvre, attracting attention to themselves.

Strategy @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Strategy @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Even that strategy has different techniques.

So tired @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
So tired @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

They may pretend to defend a fake nest.

Shake it up! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Shake it up! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Or, acting injured and helpless. Which is by far my favourite. Theatrical! 

One thought on “No Nest for the Wicked, Northern New South Wales, South-East Queensland, Australia

  1. A very different and close up look at the Lap-wing or Plover as it is commonly known……Very cute the photos capture everything you don’t normally see ….cause your running for cover hahahaha nice photos Ben.

    Like

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