The banded lapwing has a distinctive white ear stripe, a yellow eye-ring, a black cap and a small red wattle over the bill. Its upper breast is black with a white bib, the wings are grey-brown and its underbelly white. A member of the plover family, the banded lapwing grows to 29cm long
Found across southern Australia including Tasmania, the banded lapwing favours open grasslands with short clipped grass – for instance grazed land, semi-arid land and even playing fields!
These plovers tap the ground with their feet to disturb insects which they then dart after and eat. They eat most things found in short grasses – insects, spiders, worms, snails and slugs and will occasionally eat seeds.
Parents breed in local colonies after rain. The nest is a scraped area of ground covered in dry grass and sometimes animal droppings. 3-4 well-camouflaged speckled eggs are laid and take 28 days to hatch. The hatchlings are also speckled and freeze when a predator approaches. Banded lapwings usually nest in the open with little cover so that they can see danger approaching from a distance. Parents will lure threats away by pretending to be injured, often with a broken wing, and if that fails, will dive-bomb the intruder.