Now that the winter is over, things start to happen at the farm in Salta, Argentina. The following “Spot” is difficult, perhaps too difficult but what follows I believe it is interesting. Here there are two pictures for you to look at and try to find the hidden “beasts”.
Here you can see our finding:
Well, in reality there were “future beasts”. It is a nest of the Southern lapwing (Vanellus chilensis). This bird is common throughout the southern part of Latin America. The nest with two to four eggs looks like if the eggs were dropped anywhere as nests go. The idea of “egg incontinence” came to mind…
Meet the birds known locally as “Tero” or “Teru-teru”, because of their calls, that happens to be the national bird of Uruguay:
As much as the nest looks like a careless affair, its defense by the birds is not. Apart from their loud screams, they go through a routine that I can prove is a good deterrent to anyone approaching the nest.
First they try to attract you to a spot far from the nest by pretending to be sitting on it. If this fails, one or both start behaving weirdly, showing signs of being wounded or just trying to distract you, staying quite close to you.
If the above noisy diverting tactics fail, the birds go into the next line of defense that is quite aggressive. The screaming goes up a few decibels while taking off and flying low directly towards you until veering off at the last second! When close, you can hear a clicking noise that I believe they make with their beaks as well as the spurs in their wings.
Although I have being mobbed many times I can assure you that they can be extremely intimidating as the following sequence of images show.
More info on the species can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_lapwing
To hear their calls:
Very nice bird! We have a very similar one here but it is now very difficult to watch as it became very rare…