They are large, ground-dwelling birds that are closely related to the waders. It is mainly white below, with brown wings and back and a black crown and has black on the hind neck and sides of breast. Birds have large yellow wattles covering the face, and are equipped with a thorny spur that projects from the wrist on each wing. The spur is yellow with a black tip.
Lapwings use these spurs when diving at potential predators or intruders during breeding season, while chicks are running around or when the eggs are just about to hatch. While these attacks are quite unnerving, the birds seldom actually strike their ‘victims’, preferring a close approach to scare them away.
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Inhabits marshes, mudflats, beaches, grasslands and urban areas
East and southeast Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand
It measures from 30 to 37 cm long and has a wingspan of 75–85 cm