NORTHERN LAPWING

NORTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus vanellus) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Northern Lapwing adult male has a dark iridescent blue green cap, thin crest, back, wings and tail. There is a purple tinge on the shoulder coverts. Face, throat and upper breast are black. Head sides are white, with a black bar under the eye. Under parts and first section of under wings are white. Rump is rufous. Eyes and bill are black, legs and feet are pink. Female and juvenile are similar but with shorter crest and less head markings. Bird length is around 30 cm (12 inches).
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Vanellus-vanellus
NAME: ‘Lapwing’ stems from Anglo-Saxon and refers to the bird’s twisting flight. Latin genus and species names ‘Vanellus’ mean ‘a little fan’, again referring to the bird’s flight pattern.
HABITAT: Wetlands such as marshes, bogs, also fields.
DIET: Insects, spiders, worms. Also feeds at night.
NESTING: Nest is a shallow depression in a grassy area. Four brown eggs are laid, incubated by both parents. Chicks are able to feed themselves soon after hatching.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeds in Europe and mid-latitudes of Asia. Winters in southern and western Europe, south China, south Japan, North Africa, and parts of the Middle East.
Distribution Map: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Vanellus_vanellus#/media/File:DistributionVanellus.jpg
ON PEI: Does not breed on Prince Edward Island, sightings listed as ‘accidental’ so far, in summer and winter. See note below on bird vagrancy.
CONSERVATION: Listed globally as ‘near threatened’ by the IUCN. Threats include oil pollution around Baltic Sea, habitat loss due to wetland drainage for agriculture and development, egg collecting and adult birds shooting for food.
Vagrancy: In biology this means an animal going way outside its normal range. For birds, this can happen when there are storms and they get blown off course. On other times, the bird simply wanders in a different direction than usual. Here’s an article about vagrancy in birds.
REFERENCES: http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/linnut/lapwing (Nature Gate Finland)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_lapwing
http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/1002/behavior/Northern_Lapwing.aspx
http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/card-northern-lapwing.html
https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/lapwing (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)
https://www.bto.org/understanding-birds/species-focus/lapwing (British Trust for Ornithology)

Northern Lapwing - Germany - Apr. 2014 - photo by Andreas Trepte
Northern Lapwing – Germany – Apr. 2014 – photo by Andreas Trepte
Northern Lapwing in flight - Vaxholm, Sweden - Apr. 2016 - photo by Bengt Nyman
Northern Lapwing in flight – Vaxholm, Sweden – Apr. 2016 – photo by Bengt Nyman
Northern Lapwing chick - Rotterdam Zoo, Netherlands - May 2009 - photo by Arjan Haverkamp
Northern Lapwing chick – Rotterdam Zoo, Netherlands – May 2009 – photo by Arjan Haverkamp

BACK TO THE TOP