Bible Birds – Masked Lapwing

CHA-Char Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) at Lowry Park Zoo 3-27-2018

Both times the Lapwing is mentioned in the Bible, it is in the “Do Not Eat” lists in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:19 KJV)
And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Deuteronomy 14:18 KJV)

We were at Zoo Tampa (new name of Lowry Park Zoo) several weeks ago. We saw the Masked Lapwing again and I alway enjoy that look he has. The Yellow mask make him quite attractive, don’t you think?

“The masked lapwing is the largest representative of the family Charadriidae. It measures from 30 to 37 cm (12 to 15 in) in length and has a wingspan of 75–85 cm (30–33 in). The nominate subspecies (V. m. miles) weighs 191–300 g (6.7–10.6 oz), while the southern race (V. m. novaehollandiae) is larger and weighs 296–412 g (10.4–14.5 oz). The subspecies from northern Australia and New Guinea (V. m. miles) has an all-white neck and large yellow wattles with the male having a distinctive mask and larger wattles. The subspecies found in the southern and eastern states of Australia and in New Zealand (V. m. novaehollandiae), and often locally called the spur-winged plover, has a black neck-stripe and smaller wattles. (Note that the northern-hemisphere spur-winged plover is a different bird.)

The birds have a wide range of calls which can be heard at any time of the day or night: the warning call, a loud defending call, courtship calls, calls to its young, and others. Since this bird lives on the ground it is always alert and even though it rests it never sleeps properly.” [Wikipedia – Masked Lapwing]

A masked lapwing blinking the left eye (the nictitating membrane is used rather than the eyelids). Note origin of the membrane from the medial canthus. Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) Eye ©WikiC

It is always amazing to see the different ways the Lord created His birds. Even how this Lapwing blinks show design and not something that just happened.

We see them frequently in many Zoos. Next time you are visiting a zoo, see if they have the Lapwings. If you are living in Australia or New Zealand, you can look for them in the Wild.

Bible Birds – Lapwings

Bible Birds

Wordless Birds

Bible Birds – Sea Gull Introduction

Bible Birds – Sea Gulls Introduction

Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) by Ian

Bible Birds – Sea Gulls

“the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind;” (Leviticus 11:16 NKJV)

“and the ostrich, and the night-hawk, and the sea-mew, and the hawk after its kinds;” (Leviticus 11:16 JPS)

The Sea Gull or Sea-mew is mentioned in many versions of the Bible. It is unclear if this is the correct bird, but many believe so. This bird is listed with others on the “Do Not Eat” list. The Jewish people were reminded not to eat some birds.

Leviticus chapter 11 and Deuteronomy chapter 14 have those lists. The LORD was protecting His people from becoming sick. Also, some birds were not to be eaten because “God said not to”. Have your parents ever told you not to eat something because it would make you sick. Did you do it anyway? That is disobedience. These people were to be obedient, just as you and I are supposed to obey.

Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) by Ian

Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) by Ian

The Gulls or Seagulls are seabirds in the Laridae family. They are closely related to the terns and only distantly related to auks, skimmers, and more distantly to the waders. An older name for gulls is mews, cognate with German Möwe, Danish måge, Dutch meeuw, and French mouette; this term can still be found in certain regional dialects.

Gulls are typically medium to large birds, usually grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They typically have harsh wailing or squawking calls; stout, longish bills; and webbed feet. Most gulls are ground-nesting carnivores which take live food or scavenge. Live food often includes crabs and small fish. Gulls have unhinging jaws which allow them to consume large prey. Gulls are typically coastal or inland species, rarely going far out to sea, except for the kittiwakes.

The large species take up to four years to attain full adult plumage, but two years is typical for small gulls. Large white-headed gulls live long, with a maximum age of 49 years recorded for the herring gull.

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides) chick-egg nest ©USFWS

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides) chick-egg nest ©USFWS

Gulls nest in large, densely packed, noisy colonies. They lay two or three speckled eggs in nests composed of vegetation. The young are relatively mature from the moment of birth, born with dark mottled down and mobile upon hatching.

Laughing Gull landing on Brown Pelican

Laughing Gull landing on Brown Pelican by Lee

Gulls are resourceful, inquisitive, and intelligent, the larger species in particular. For example, many gull colonies display mobbing behavior, attacking and harassing predators and other intruders. Certain species have exhibited tool-use behavior, such as the herring gull, using pieces of bread as bait with which to catch goldfish, for example.

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