The Blacksmith and its young…. Plover of course….

The Blacksmith Lapwing or Blacksmith Plover (Vanellus armatus) is named for its repeated metallic ‘tink, tink, tink’ alarm call – which sounds similar to a blacksmith’s hammer striking metal. (bet you didn’t know that !!!! don’t worry neither did I)

The Blacksmith is usually monogamous — being loyal to one partner for the rest of its life, or until the mate dies, at which time it will pursue others. (Did you know that ?? I did)

The nest is a simple scrape in the ground, usually lined with vegetation, stones and mud flakes. The average clutch size consists of 1 to 4 eggs. Both parents incubate the eggs for about 26 to 33 days; typically in shifts of 20 to 80 minutes.


The young leave the nest within hours of hatching but remain close to their parents. They fledge when they are about 40 days old and usually self-sufficient a month later.

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Daddy keeping an eye…

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43 thoughts on “The Blacksmith and its young…. Plover of course….

  1. Sjoe, pragtige voësl. Was seker nie te maklik om die kuikens te kon kiek? Ek hou van die manier wat jy hulle ‘alarm call’ beskryf. OUlik.

  2. I love those babies, Rob! They’re so cute 😀 I didn’t know they got their name from the blacksmith’s hammer, but I did know they were monogamous. What faithful little creatures they are 😉

    • I do agree and what brave little fellows they are too… I recall watching, not the blacksmith, but rather the crowned plover turning a huge bull elephant away from its nest … they kept flying directly at the face of the elephant till he turned to get away from them… I suppose it was like a fly is to us when they buzz around ones eyes…

    • Yes I do agree with you on that one… however I hesitated to mention that some are known to go the naughty route and it is thought that it might have something to do with the success of raising the young…

    • They are so good at protecting their young and with the slightest noise they will just disappear into the grass only to appear again when receiving a signal from the parents…

  3. Great shots Rob and it’s great to see the little baby up close. Great info as well. 😀
    We have lots of them at the dam but don’t dare go near them or their young ones. 😆

    • Those young from day one can disappear into the surrounds so easily that it is difficult to believe. … their camouflage is magnificent and they only really begin to colour like adults when they can fly

    • It is unusual… and I’ve not found many in my life time that have. .. this is one and the other was a Bateleur eagle… I write about it in my book how for years I kept returning to its nest to climb the tree and observe the raising of the young…these eagle got to know me and would come down to the nest to watch me watching them… normally they would attack anyone or thing that went near their nest. . This was a privilege to be accepted by birds as one that was not there to harm them, but merely to observe. ..

    • Thanks Cindy… I do enjoy this bird, got so attached to this one I had to get her to stand by picking her up to get a photo of the eggs… they got so used to my company they didn’t even attack me when near them….

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