Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis
(aka Chilean Lapwing)

Chilean name: Queltehue
Brazilian name: quero-quero

Southern Lapwing, Emas, Goiás, Brazil, April 2001 - click for larger image The Southern Lapwing ranges throughout South America except on the Pacific coast from Peru northwards and in parts of Amazonia.

It is found in open areas near water and marshes and is frequently seen near habitation and on farmland. Some farmers use them as guards as they are very aggressive and give out a loud call when disturbed.

Southern Lapwing, Botanic Gardens, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, July 2001 - click for larger image In places such as Brazil this loud call gives rise to local names such as "Quero-quero".

The plumage is very distinctive and there are minor variations of the facial markings which distinguish the 4 subspecies. Photos 1 to 6 are V. c. lampronotus which is the subspecies found in Brazil south of the River Amazon. Photos 7 and 8 are of the nominate subspecies found in central Chile south to Chiloe and in Argentina while photo 9 is of the sub-species V. c. fretensis found in Patagonia.

Southern Lapwing, Botanic Gardens, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, July 2001 - click for larger image The second photo shows a Southern Lapwing standing over a well-camouflaged egg in a shallow scrape nest. The clutch size is normally 3 or 4 so maybe this bird had just started to lay.
Southern Lapwing, Botanic Gardens, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, July 2001 - click for larger image The Southern Lapwing has red spurs at the bend of the wing which are displayed to rivals and enemies as part of the show of aggression. These can be seen well in the fourth photo which shows the first part of an extraordinary display. This group of 4 birds advanced rapidly calling loudly with their spurs showing on a single bird who was presumably trying to invade their (co-operative?) breeding territory.
Southern Lapwing, Botanic Gardens, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, July 2001 - click for larger image They suddenly stopped and adopted a bowing position as shown in the fifth photo. I assume that this is also an aggressive stance. The bird who was the object of their attention flew off about 50 metres followed by this band of four and the whole performance was repeated.

There are recordings and a distribution map on xeno-canto.

Southern Lapwing, Aguas de São Pedro, São Paulo, Brazil, August 2004 - click for larger image
Southern Lapwing, Los Angeles, Chile, November 2005 - click for larger image
Southern Lapwing, Chiloe, Chile, November 2005 - click for larger image
Southern Lapwing, Los Angeles, Chile, November 2005 - click for larger image
Southern Lapwing, Pantanal, mato Grosso, Brazil, December 2006 - click for larger image
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