Sunday, November 15, 2009

Our Special Neighbours - IV : The Lapwing Family

As winter sets in and the days turn chilly, let me share with you the story of the lapwing family to warm the cockles of your hearts! :)

Right after we moved in to the new house in early summer, we learnt to recognise the typical (shrill and long-drawn) calls of the lapwing couple who lived in the fields behind our house.

Since summer was just beginning, the fields had been recently harvested and sported a dry, brown stubbly growth. Just ideal for the lapwings to roost... but we didn't realise this till one fine morning I noticed a distinct change in the bird's call.

Short, sharp calls came from mommy bird while papa bird hovered around protectively in circles. I craned my neck some more from the balcony, peering into the undergrowth. As I squinted into the distance, my eye caught a movement. Aah, then I saw it... baby lapwing running around mommy but so well camouflaged that one could only wonder at Nature. (Look very carefully between the two bigger birds in the next photo to see the baby.)

Excited, I pointed out the lapwing family's new addition to the kids and the hubby, and we all kept tabs on what the baby bird was up to.

Can you see how tiny it is compared to the bits of paper lying on the ground?

As time went by, baby gathered enough confidence to go on longer walks, crossing roads and dodging dogs and cattle.

Slowly the baby lapwing grew from its tiny sparrow-like look to the more long-legged and distinct look of the lapwings.

Till finally one day, it soared off into the blue skies, right behind mommy and papa birds!

Some of the joys of living in a suburban area where one can still interact with flora and fauna!

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