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African Wattled Lapwing - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Wattled Lapwing; Senegal Wattled Plover; Wattled Plover

Vanellus senegallus
Photo © by MikeB.
Photo taken: Angola. Notice the visible wing-spurs.

Identification

Length 35 cm, mass 160-293 g; the largest African lapwing.

Brown, black crown, white forehead and large yellow facial wattles, upperwings have black flight feathers and brown coverts separated by a white bar, underwings are white with black flight feathers. White tail, tipped black, and the long legs are yellow.

Distribution

Sub-Saharan Africa.

Taxonomy

Vanellus senegallus has three subspecies:1

  • V. s. senegallus
  • V. s. major
  • V. s. lateralis

Habitat

Marshes, ponds, rivers and streams, short grassland, savanna, croplands, cultivated pastures and burnt grassland.

Behaviour

Usually singly, in pairs, or in small groups; sometimes in larger flocks when not breeding. Forages while walking. The diet includes grasshoppers, locusts, beetles, crickets, termites, aquatic insects, worms, coarse grass leaves and grass seeds.

The nest is a shallow depression in short grass or bare ground, but always near water. Two to four eggs are laid, and incubated for 28-32 days by both sexes. Chicks leave the nest the day of hatching.

References

  1. Clements JF. 2007. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2008. Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801445019
  2. Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ & Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Robert's Birds of Southern Africa, 7th edition. John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town, South Africa. ISBN 0620340533

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