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Northern Lapwing

From Opus

Revision as of 23:56, 19 March 2009 by Deliatodd-18346 (Talk | contribs)
Photo by nigel pye
Photo by nigel pye
Vanellus vanellus



28-31cm long bird with a 67-72cm wingspan. Rounded wings and a crest, black and white, green tinted back.


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.


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

A monotypic species.


Open country with short grass, bare soil or in crops, often near freshwater.



Three to four eggs are laid in a ground scrape.


Diet includes insects and other small invertebrates. It prefers to feed nocturnally when there are moonlit nights.


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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



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