A Red-wattled Lapwing Nesting on a Roof, Mumbai

Adithi Muralidhar

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Normally a ground-nesting bird, here a Red-wattled Lapwing is found nesting on the corrugated roof of a bungalow. This picture is a classic example of how some birds have started to adapt to the anthropogenic changes to the environment.

While Red-wattled lapwings are very often seen near human habitation, their nesting is primarily carried out only on the ground. But there have been growing records of their roof-nesting habit (Saxena 1974; Reeves 1975; Tehsin & Lokhandwala 1983; Mundkur 1985; Koshy 1989; Kumar & Sharma 2011). I have been observing this roof-nesting pair for the last 5 years and feel that this is an important case-study to be shared with the rest of the community. At no point, did I approach the birds or the nest. Photographs were taken from the adjacent building’s terrace using a Sony H7 camera with a 15x optical zoom. It was a rare moment when the parent Red-wattled lapwings were found resting, leaving their eggs exposed on the roof (red arrow)!

For more details on the nesting and breeding behaviour of this particular pair, please refer: Muralidhar, A. and Barve, S. (2013). Peculiar choice of nesting of Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus in an urban area in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Indian BIRDS 8 (1): 6–9.

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