• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Red-wattled Lapwing - BirdForum Opus

Nominate subspecies : Pair in breeding plumage
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Gurgaon Rural, Haryana, India, Jan-2017
Vanellus indicus


Self-foraging nidifugous chick Ssp. V. i. indicus
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Distt. Gurgaon, Haryana, India, June 2014

32–35 cm (12½-13¾ in)

  • Light brown wings and back
  • Black head and chest and front part of neck
  • White patch runs between belly and tail, flanking the neck to the sides of crown
  • Short tail is tipped black
  • A red fleshy wattle in front of each eye
  • Black-tipped red bill
  • Long yellow legs
  • In flight, prominent white V-shaped wing bar


From south-eastern Turkey to Iraq, south-western Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and east to Burma, Thailand, Indochina and Malaysia.



Subspecies V. i. atronuchalis
Photo © by kctsang
Melacca, Western Malaysia, March 2006

Four subspecies are recognized:[1]

  • V.i. aigneri:
  • V.i. indicus:
  • V.i. lankae:
  • V.i. atronuchalis:


Open country and forest clearings, freshwater wetlands. Dry fields, bush country, near swamps, rivers and coasts.



Its nest is a ground scrape; the clutch consisting of 3-4 buff eggs with black blotches.


Their diet consists mostly of insects and larvae such as ants, beetles, caterpillars, insects, snails and other invertebrates, as well as some vegetation.


Nominate subspecies juvenile
Photo © by S K Gudi
Hubli, India, July 2016

A very noisy bird.
Call: What ya doin. When excited: What are you doin and when they get really stressed it sounds more like What ya think ya doin.

Listen in an external program

Recording by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, India, April-2015
Panic / frantic calls by a group of birds.
In the file below can be heard the mating call followed by usual communicating calls:

Listen in an external program

Recording by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India, June-2017


  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 http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2016)
  3. Wikipedia
  4. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation


Click images to see larger version

External Links