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Lapwings in Mysore University Campus

posted Jul 28, 2014, 9:21 AM by Sharath Adavanne   [ updated Jul 28, 2014, 9:23 AM ]


     During 1976, sprawling campus of Mysore University campus situated at the outskirts of Mysore city was mosaic of grass land, water-body and woodland. We used to observe varieties of birds, butterflies and vegetation within the campus itself. In the month of May 1976, the grasslands spread around open-auditorium were accommodating many breeding Lapwings (Yellow & Red-wattled). Now this area is a wood-land surrounded on all sides by buildings with hardly any Lapwings. Notes recorded during that period are re-produced here to show how change in habitat affects the dependent species diversity


Pic: Yellow-wattled Lapwing  (PC: MK Vishwanath)

Date

Breeding bird

Total no. of eggs

Color of Egg

Observations

 

4/5/1976

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -1)

1 egg

Eggs pinkish with blotches

 

 

 

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -2)

1 egg

Eggs pinkish with blotches

 

 

5/5/1976

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -1)

2 eggs

Eggs pinkish with blotches

 

 

 

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -2)

2 eggs

Eggs pinkish with blotches

 

 

6/5/1976

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -1)

3 eggs

Eggs pinkish with blotches

 

 

 

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -2)

3  eggs

Eggs pinkish with blotches

 

 

7/5/1976

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -1)

4 eggs

Eggs pinkish with blotches

 

 

 

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -2)

Only two eggs; one is  missing

Eggs pinkish with blotches

 

 

8/5/1976

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -1)

4 eggs

Eggs pinkish with blotches

 

 

 

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -2)

3 eggs

Eggs pinkish with blotches

 

 

9/5/1976

To

12/5/1976

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -1 & 2)

Incubating

 

 

 

13/5/1976

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -1 & 2)

Incubating

 

 

 

 

Located yet another Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -3 ) with an egg

1 egg

Olive green with blotches

 

 

14/5/1976

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -1 & 2)

Incubating

 

 

 

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -3)

2 eggs

Olive green with blotches

 

15/5/1976

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -1 & 2)

Incubating

 

 

 

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -3)

3 eggs

Olive green with blotches

 

16/5/1976

 

 

 

Did not observe

17/5/1976

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -1 & 2)

Incubating

 

 

 

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -3)

3 eggs

 

 

18/5/1976

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -1 & 2)

Incubating

 

 

 

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (YL -3)

4 eggs

 

 

19/5/1976

 

Found Red-wattled Lapwing (RL-1) incubating

2 eggs

Olive green with blotches, larger than those of YL

 

20/5/1976

YL-1

YL-2

YL-3

RL-1

4 eggs

3 eggs

4 eggs

2 eggs

 

Photographed all of them during 10.30 -11.30 AM.

 

  • When approached YL-3 for photo with Tele-lens, the bird sitting over the eggs got up and walked away. 
  • Next, approached YL-2, the bird sitting over the eggs got up as usual and walked away. But, the partner arrived and sat on the eggs for incubating without bothering my presence. I was so close, had to change the normal lens and photograph the bird.   While I was photographing the bird, the other partner which was standing closely chased away a kite making alarm calls.
  • Then I proceeded to YL-1, the bird sitting over the eggs got up and walked away.
  • Then I proceeded to RL-1 nest and photographed from a distance.

21/5/1976

YL-1

YL-2

YL-3

RL-1

4 eggs

3 eggs

4 eggs

3 eggs

RL had laid one more egg.

With Sri P Krishnakumar (PK)  at 9.00 am.

22/5/1976

  • YL-2 nest –one bird sitting over the eggs continued to sit.

 

 

25/5/1976

 

 

YL-1

YL-2

YL-3

RL-1

 

4 eggs

3 eggs

4 eggs

4 eggs

 

Measured egg sizes:

37.5 X 27.5 mm (avg size)

37.5 X 27.5 mm (average size)

35    X 30 mm (average size)

45    X 35 mm (2 eggs size)

45    X 30 mm (2 eggs size)

 

  • YL-2 allowed me to go nearer for photographing, whereas other Lapwings wouldn’t allow me to go nearer than 30 feet.
  • Spotted two more pairs of YL near the road by the side of open air theater.
  • Also spotted one pair of RL -2 nearby. These were all evidently trying to choose a safe location to lay the eggs.

26/5/1976

  • Observations as usual.

 

27/5/1976

  • 2.15 pm: All birds and eggs intact, incubating and their partners were stationed nearby at a call distance. 

29/5/1976

  • 7.00 pm: all the birds YL-1, 2 & 3 and RL-1 were in their location and were very alert.

30/5/1976

  • No observation.

31/5/1976

  • 6.30 am: at RL-1 found no birds; no eggs; no trace of shells being broken, and cannot explain as to what happened.
  • YL-1,2 & 3 intact and as usual.

1/6/1976

  • No observation.

2/6/1976

  • 8.45 am: no trace of RL-1.
  • To my delight, saw that one of the eggs of YL-2 had hatched.  Two eggs remaining. The chick- soft and fluffy was quiet.  May be it had hatched just a little while ago.  It was attended to by both its parents who ran away on seeing me approached, of course calling alarmingly.
  •  Then excitedly, I proceeded to the nest of YL-1. Lo! Three eggs had hatched and only one egg was remaining.  These three young ones were also quiet, except for one of them which was trying to move out making ungainly steps.  It had opened the eyes while the other two has still unopened eyes.  The parents, who were attending to them, ran away making alarm calls on seeing me.  There was also one Red-wattled Lapwing, which also joined in making the alarm calls.
  • Went back home and brought camera and photographed the young ones, there were about 8 Yellow-wattled Lapwings as well as one Red-wattled Lapwing, which were trying to chase me as also one Kite and two Crows.
  • At the same time one of the chicks of YL-1 hardly able to stand, may be this was the first one to hatch, was trying to walk away from the nest. 
  • Next, I went to see the nest of YL-3, all the four eggs were intact.
  • Went back to office and shared observation with Sri PK.
  • 2.15 pm: returned to the site with Sri PK.
  • There were two chicks and only egg in the nest of YL-2, evidently one egg had hatched between 9.30 am & 2.00 pm.  Could not find even a trace of the egg-shells.
  • At YL-1, saw only two young ones instead of three which I had seen in the morning. Perhaps one of the three chicks had fallen prey to a Crow or a Kite. 

3/6/1976

  • 8.30 am: No trace of the chicks of YL-1. But the parent birds were there making frantic calls as I approached the nesting sight, indicating that the young ones may be somewhere nearby.
  • YL-2, three young ones had left the nesting depression and were crouching and hiding behind small grass that had grown.  Could not make them out easily since they blended with the background. As the parent birds calls loudly the young ones crouched still low. This reaction I had also observed yesterday especially in the nest of YL-1.  Two of the chicks which were trying to walk would immediately crouch and remain still when the parent called.

 

4/6/1976

 

  • 8.30 am: No trace of the chicks.  But the parent birds as well as several others (about 8 birds in all) were calling loudly wherever I went and tried to chase me away.  This indicates that the young ones may be somewhere nearby, went round till 9 am & came back.


Pic: Notes on Lapwings 1976


Author:  KB Sadananda