Animal Encounters XXI
The masked plover is a large, common and conspicuous bird native to Australia, particularly the northern and eastern parts of the continent. It spends most of its time on the ground searching for food such as insects and worms and has several distinctive calls. Day or night, the plover can be heard making its noisy, penetrating 'kekekekek' call. Sometimes called the alarmbird (for obvious reasons), these wading birds generally gather in loose flocks, usually near waterways where food is abundant. They feed mainly on seeds, molluscs, worms and insects.
Looking for food
Come breeding season, plovers want their privacy and split into pairs to nest and breed from late spring through winter. Together they guard their nest (a depression or mound on the ground) and then their chicks, aggressively fending off potential attackers.
Found everywhere except Western Australia, they are most often found in open grassy areas close to water. It's not uncommon to see plovers nesting in parks, playing fields or on grassed lawns.
I'm going to run away now!