I noticed 5 Masked Lapwings along Elster Creek recently that seemed to be in a constant state of agitation with each other. Several would stood tall and thrust out the wing spurs when another pair flew over or around them. Spur-winged Plover is an alternate name for Masked Lapwings. I knew about the spurs but had not seem them closely until I had developed these shots. The male tends to have larger spurs.
Lapwings use these spurs against potential predators or anyone coming too close to nest sites and chicks. While the attacks can seem quite aggressive, the birds rarely strike their ‘victims’, preferring a close approach to scare them away. The species is fearless and I have seen them go after much bigger birds like Kites and Eagles.
The birds I saw below did not attack each other but did make quite a bit of noise and displayed much posturing.