Relocating Masked Lapwing nest?

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BobTheBuilder
Relocating Masked Lapwing nest?

Hi,
Hoping to get some help for a problem with a masked lapwing nest.
The nest is right in the middle of an urban building block, that is due to have construction starting by mid sept.
The block is fenced on three sides & in a quiet neighbourhood, so i guess the birds thought it was a very good spot for their nest.
The grass is not very long at all, it is more bare ground than grass, very flat & open. Amazingly camoflaged nest, you virtually have to be right over it to see it.
Im afraid the nest will have to go...delaying the build is not an option, im sorry to say.
What other options are available to save the four eggs & allow the parent birds to be able to raise the young birds?

There is another vacant block across the street....is it possible to simply move the nest onto the other block, without the parents rejecting the idea?
Naturally the parents are very protective of the nest at the moment.
If a relocation is possible, i guess its better done sooner rather than later?

Do i do it myself?
or call FAUNA? ph #?

Thanks for any help
Bob
conservationist/builder

BobTheBuilder

just me again....

Im reading the incubation period is 28 days, so by mid august they will have hatched, & then the chicks are mobile straight away, then they will have 4 weeks peace & quiet after that(barring pesky cats), is this an acceptable time period for them to be strong enough, to be able to find alternative shelter? ie; the block across the road would be ideal, longer grass, tree shaded, but on a slight slope?(i read they prefer wet areas)
thanks again for any help

Bob
conservationist/builder

birdie
birdie's picture

Hi Bob
It is great that you care and are bothering to ask. I am no expert on removing nests but I have worked on a construction site where Masked Lapwings were nesting. They defend their young ferociously once they are out so that is the only thing you need to worry about LOL!!
From my experience the young are up and about and very able to move out of the way when necessary , plus they are carefully guarded by the parents. Our parent birds just herded them to a safe spot when there was too much activity, and buzzed the hell out of anyone nearby when they were on the nest. They will probably migrate naturally to the other side of the road if there is available space anyway. I think they can survive on a variety of surfaces, and don't need to have wet feet all the time.
Good luck with that and let us know how you go. We have had some hilarious pics posted on here in the past of the brave few that have remained standing to capture the onslaught of an approaching Plover at Warp speed
:')

Cheers

Birdie

Sunshine Coast Queensland

QLDBird
QLDBird's picture

You better watch out for those plovers cause when they do decide to swoop, they are flying at a million miles per hour. Also watch out for those wings cause they are spur tipped. I had to learn that one the hard way. I was sneaking up on a cisticola when a plover pop up out of now where and started swooping. To get away from it I had tom run through a swamp which resulted in an explosion of water birds. I still ended up getting spurred though. You never wantthatto happen trust me!

BobTheBuilder

Thank you for the replies,

Since i first posted the original messege, ive been driving past the block once or twice a week & just looking at the nest from the road, there had always been a bird on the nest(extremely well camoflauged), wouldnt see it was there if i didnt know it was there.
Didnt check for 10 days or so upto saturday (21 Aug), we walked past the block & couldnt see any bird on the nest, so went right upto where it was, the nest was completely gone, not that it was an elaborate nest in the first place, but would of expected to see something, maybe a twig or small piece of shell.
Started to get a bit worried a cat or something had raided it, until the neighbour said to us, that the eggs had hatched(all 4 of them) & that the chicks were up & running around aswell as being proudly & strongly protected by their parents. They had hung around for a couple of days, then must of moved on....

I was quite surprised they were able to leave the nest so soon!

So thats a good news story!!

If anyone else has a similar situation, it seems if you leave them alone, the eggs will hatch & they will move on in a fairly short time frame, under a month in this case.

cheers
Bob

birdie
birdie's picture

Hey that's a good end to a good story Bob, they are pretty resilient little chicks huh?

cheers

Birdie

Sunshine Coast Queensland

mark.queitzsch
mark.queitzsch's picture

Hi

We have just discovered (for the second year now) that a pair of masked lapwings have nested with a clutch of three eggs on the pebble-bedded first floor roof our apartment overlooks. The roof is about 20m2 and has 1m high walls all around.

Last year, four chicks hatched (a friend called them cotton-wool buds on stilts!), and they roamed around the roof for about a week, shepherded all the while by at least one of their parents. We were concerned that they would not have enough food and shelter to survive to the point they could fly away, and in due course, one of the chicks died, and another appeared to have fallen over and broken its neck.

It was at that time that I called a wildlife agency and asked their advice, which was to take the chicks off the roof and put them somewhere grassy, but keeping them in sight of their parents (difficult, given that we had to ride the elevator to get to street level). We live on Oxford Street in Paddington, and there's scant green space (ironically, just a 30 second flight south would have seen the birds roaming Moore Park, and about the same distance east would have seen them in Centennial Park). A neighbour and I asked the security detail at the army barracks (across the road) if we could put the chicks in their grounds, but they refused, so we had no option bu to put them in the garden at the entrance of the barracks, but the parents lost sight of this whole process, so I fear the chicks would have perished.

Having learnt from last year's lessons, it appears that I only have two options: let the chicks die (again), or find some way of feeding them (purchasing a worm farm and feeding them worms, perhaps)so they don't know I'm feeding them until they are able to fly (is this even feasible - how much do they eat?), but thinking that this is wrong as it may attract them back for another round of breeding next time, although clearly they didn't learn from last year!

I would greatly appreciate your suggestions and advice.

Mark

Qyn
Qyn's picture

Hi Mark, thanks for your concern. The masked plover is known for nesting in inappropriate places with often the results you have seen. As they are protected, any interference with the birds or nests is prohibited however I wonder if it would be possible to place wind sock or something similar on that part of the roof during nesting season only to discourage them nesting there?

Maybe someone else with have some better advice as this problem is well known.

Alison
~~~~~~
"the earth is not only for humans, but for all animals and living things."

Woko
Woko's picture

Hi mqueitzs
Have you seen the parents feeding the young on the roof? If so, do you have any idea what the food was & from where the parents obtained it?
The answers to these questions might indicate whether or not you need to intervene &, if you do, where you might relocate the young ones - assuming you can get permission given the legalities mentioned by qyn55.
If you can't get permission then qyn55's windsock idea might be the go or, perhaps, a 50 gun salute every 5 minutes from the nearby army barracks during breeding season.

mark.queitzsch
mark.queitzsch's picture

qyn55, I had read that the birds are protected, as is all native fauna. Unfortunately, the windsock would have to be huge, as the rooftop area is 20m sq, and I have heard that they can nest at any time of the year (the body corporate would not be pleased!).

woko, the parents do not feed their young - once the chicks hatch, they have to make their own dinner. My research suggests that they feed on insect larvae and earthworms (checked-out prices: 4kg of worms for $75). I don't think the 50 gun salute would phase these birds, as I've seen them quite happily stand around when there have been Blackhawk and ambulance helo movements!

Mark

Woko
Woko's picture

Ah, mqueitzs, I can see that, like so much else, these birds have become quite militarised.
I've also wondered whether relocating the eggs (with permission, of course, from wildlife authorities as well as the parents) to a more favourable environment would be feasible. You'd need to be alert to the parents' arrival on the roof in spring, of course. Then there's the question of how the parents would learn of the eggs' new location.

Percy
Percy's picture

Hi there,

This afternoon I came across plover parents with 3 of their chicks on a busy large roundabout. I rang a wildlife number and was told that they couldn't help to relocate them as it was illegal for them to do so. I also rang another person who said if they are in danger then to go ahead and move them and she gave me instructions of how to do it. 

As it was late in the day and getting dark I haven't done it yet and the woman I spoke to said the best time would probably be on sunrise tomorrow. She is trying to organise for someone to meet me who has done this type of thing before to help but so far has not been able to. I really want to help these chicks out as not sure if they will be able to get across the road in one piece. 

Does anyone have any words of wisdom to help me out?

Many thanks.

Shirley Hardy
Shirley Hardy's picture

Yes, stop the traffic and use brute force to get the chicks to run away in the right direction to get off that roundabout. You'll be swooped all the while but where the chicks go so too will the parents. Have more than one other person help you, so at least one of you will successfully herd the chicks in the right direction.

I'm at Tenterfield, NSW. (Formerly known as "Hyperbirds".)

Percy
Percy's picture

You'll be pleased to know that we had a successful removal of all chicks, there were actually four. It took awhile for the parents to catch on that we had them and to follow us but we found a park hidden behind the busy traffic area which the parents took them too. A few hairy moments of them running on the road (why people in cars don't slow down is beyond me) but the little cuties are all happy and (hopefully) safe. A great start to the day!

Qyn
Qyn's picture

Sorry this is such a late response but just wanted to congratulate you on a successful rescue at such a difficult site. Well done and thanks for your persistence!

Alison
~~~~~~
"the earth is not only for humans, but for all animals and living things."

Percy
Percy's picture

Hi Qyn,

I drove past the site where we relocated them and still saw them there so hopefully they live a long and happy life.

Thanks for the email.

 and @UrbanBirdsOz  @birdsinbackyards
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