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Northern Lapwing

From Opus

Photo  ©  by nigel pyeCley, Norfolk, 2006
Photo © by nigel pye
Cley, Norfolk, 2006
Vanellus vanellus


[edit] Identification

JuvenilePhoto by G6 UXUClifton Marshes, Lancashire, May 2017
Photo by G6 UXU
Clifton Marshes, Lancashire, May 2017

28–31 cm (11-12¼ in) Wing span 67-72 cm

  • Crest
  • Black bill
  • Pinkish-brown legs
  • Upperparts look black but has green and purplish tints
  • White underparts
  • Black throat and breast
  • Orange-chestnut undertail coverts

Female and Juvenile are similar but have shorter crests

[edit] Distribution

Photo © by Jeff RankinDraycote Water, Warwickshire, UK November 2008
Photo © by Jeff Rankin
Draycote Water, Warwickshire, UK November 2008

Breeds in Palearctic (British Isles, France, Scandinavia and Russia east to the Urals); winters to northern Africa, India, Myanmar and south China.

Common and widespread over much of the region. Breeds on Sandoy in the Faroes and in most of the British Isles, and from France east to the Urals. In the north found over all of Scandinavia (except the far north) and in Russia north to the White Sea. In the south breeds in central and south-central Spain, patchily in southern France, north Italy, Greece and central Turkey.

Resident in western Europe and in Turkey but summer visitor to remainder of breeding range. In winter found throughout France and Iberia, and on most Mediterranean coasts, in Turkey, Iraq and the Nile Valley.

Has been recorded on the Azores and Cape Verde Islands as a vagrant.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

[edit] Habitat

FledglingPhoto  ©  by G6 UXUClifton Marsh, Preston, Lancashire, May 2018
Photo © by G6 UXU
Clifton Marsh, Preston, Lancashire, May 2018

Breeds in open country, moors and farmland with short grass, bare soil or in crops, often near freshwater. Winters in muddy estuaries and marshes.

[edit] Behaviour

Highly gregarious forming large winter feeding flocks.

[edit] Action

Slow direct flight with very 'flapping' wings. Aerobatic spring display flights.

[edit] Breeding

Three to four eggs are laid in a ground scrape.

They are monogamous during the breeding season and are very protective of their nests, dive-bombing intruders.

[edit] Diet

Their diet consists of worms, insects and other small invertebrates, including larva and adult beetles, ants, flies and wasps. They like to feed nocturnally on moonlit nights.

[edit] Vocalisation

Call: Variations on Pee, Peet and Pee-wit

Listen in an external program

[edit] In Culture

The name "lapwing" derives from the "lapping" sound its wings make, or the flapping flight.

Other common names include Peewit and Green Plover

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
  3. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
  4. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6
  5. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2017)
  6. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


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