NATIVE. COMMON. RESIDENT.
DISTRIBUTION: Common throughout the three main Islands of New Zealand, as well as several of the nearer offshore groups. Widespread throughout Indonesia, southern New Guinea, and Australia. Self-introduced, the first New Zealand record is of two birds in Invercargill in 1932.
HABITAT: Prefers broad cropped grassland near water, and can be seen on golf courses, playing fields and highway median strips as well as lagoon margins, coastal mudflats and other wide, flat, empty spaces.
BREEDING: 3-4 eggs are laid in a simple depression in the ground, usually around June. Incubation takes 30-31 days and chicks fledge at about 56 days. Both parents remain involved in rearing right through until they fledge.
FOOD: Mainly small invertebrates of all kinds, captured in grass or by wading in shallow water.
VOICE: The most common call is a distinctive loud, shrill, grating rattle. It often calls and travels at night.
GENERAL: Widely known as the spur-winged plover, although it is not a member of the plover family. Noisy, excitable and conspicuous, it will defend its territories with obvious aggression particularly when nesting.