Masked Lapwing

Scientific Name: Vanellus miles

Malay Name: Ceriwit Berpial Australasia

Chinese Name: 白颈麦鸡

Alternative Name(s): Spur-winged Plover

Range: Native range in Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: miles, novaehollandiae.

Local Subspecies: miles

Size: 30-37 cm

Identification: A large, ground-dwelling bird with brown wings and back, and a black crown. Underparts are mainly white. Large yellow wattle across forehead and hanging over the bill, and a conspicuous black-tipped yellow spur on the carpal joint of each wing.

Habitat: Edges of wetlands and in other moist, open environments, beaches and coastlines, urban parks, sporting fields, paddocks, riverbeds, and in Singapore, at golf courses.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feed on insects and their larvae, and earthworms. Most food is obtained from just below the surface of the ground, but some may also be taken above the surface. Normally seen feeding alone, in pairs or in small groups.  During breeding season, nesting pair boldly defends their territory against all intruders by calling loudly, spreading their wings, and swooping fast and low, and at times striking at intruders with their feet, and attacking animals on the ground with their spurs. At other times, they act as though they have a broken wing in an attempt to lure the intruder away from the nest.

Local Status: Uncommon introduced resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Marina East Drive and adjacent golf course (Marina Bay Golf Course), Seletar Dam and adjacent golf course (Seletar Country Club), Changi Golf Course, and Sungei Bedok.


BirdLife International. (2016). Vanellus miles. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023

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