On a recent routine call, we were asked to relocate, not a snake, but swooping plovers: Masked Lapwing Plovers (vanellus miles). Because of this ongoing behaviour—common for mating pairs to protect their nest—one of the school ovals was unable to be used for sports and other activities.
Per our standard mitigation procedure, we proceeded to remove/relocate the eggs – only allowed under strict permit. Masked Lapwings have an egg incubation period of around 21-28 days. Our process involves taking the eggs/chicks to a certified wildlife carer for incubation and raising. The birds are then released back into the wild at a suitable location.
On this occasion, as it happens, the local wildlife carer was not home. And so, the eggs ended up coming back with us to the office. In no time, the chicks started pipping and one hatched. 🐣
We were all overjoyed to witness these moments! In short order the unhatched eggs and chicks were transferred to the wildlife carer.
-- Vanellus miles is a ground-dwelling bird native to Australia. Able to adapt quite well to developed environments, its conservation status is LS (Least Concern) in all states.