Animal Facts
Common Name:
Masked Lapwing
Scientific Name:
Vanellus miles
  • Can be found in flocks outside of breeding season
  • Often feeds alone, in pairs, or small groups
  • Nests are essentially scratches on the ground and are aggressively defended by both parents.
  • To protect their nest, parents will perform a "broken wing" behavior to lure threats away or swoop down on threats.
12 oz
14 in
Life Span:
20 yrs
Gestation Period:
30 days
Number of Young:
3-4 eggs
  • Grassland
  • Marine
  • Wetlands
Fun Facts:
  • They are native to Australia, New Zealand & New Guinea where they are protected.
  • Small wings spurs at the end of their wings are mainly for show but can be used in defense.
  • Some people think they are poisonous but this is a myth.
  • They can easily be seen near or in the "pond" in our Aviary.
Endangered Status
Endangered Status
  • Extinct in Wild (EW)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Not Evaluated (NE)

The Aviary design replicates a tropical rain forest. Mimicking their natural habitats has allowed birds to exhibit natural behaviors like courtship, successful breeding, and raising of young. LISTEN for their calls and LOOK for nests and courtship behaviors on your visit to the Aviary.

Tossing insects into the soil near the pool encourages foraging behavior from the lapwings.

Saving Species Plan Logo

This species is cooperatively managed as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan program program. This program is responsible for developing a Breeding and Transfer Plan for each species in the program.