November 2022

Proud Parents

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Proud Parents

The herd was a hundred strong, and thirsty. The lapwings had waited all year, preparing themselves and their nesting areas for breeding season. Nothing was going to disturb them. As the herd approached we could hear the distinctive call of the blacksmith lapwings, “twing, twing, twing,” like that of a blacksmith forging iron. The call got louder and more frequent as the large bovines got closer. A warning to them to stay away and give them space.

When you have so many animals on the way to water, space is hard to come by. A couple of buffalo came closer, so the birds opened their wings to make themselves look bigger and more noticeable. Soon more and more buffalo unknowingly approached the nest. They bird were having none of it! Short bursts at the buffalo, loud squawking and wings flaying, their message was clear.

Most of the buffalo altered their course respectively. One young buffalo got too close which was dealt with by the birds with a swift kick to the muzzle. This was incredible to witness. What bravery and good parenting!

Marc Bowes-Taylor
By Marc Bowes-Taylor
Field Guide