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Blacksmith Lapwing (Vanellus armatus)
Blacksmith Lapwing (Vanellus armatus)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Subfamily: Vanellinae
Bonaparte, 1842
  • Erthrogonys
  • Vanellus

Lapwings are medium-sized wading birds belonging to the subfamily Vanellinae of the family Charadriidae, which also includes the plovers and dotterels. A lapwing can be thought of as a larger plover.

The traditional terms plover, lapwing, and dotterel were coined long before modern understandings of the relationships between different groups of birds emerged: in consequence, several of the lapwings (subfamily Vanellinae) are still called "plovers", and the reverse also applies.

While authorities are generally agreed that there about 24 species of lapwing, classifications within the subfamily remain confused. At one extreme, Peters recognised no less than 19 different genera; other workers have gone as far as to group all the lapwings into the single genus, Vanellus. Current opinion appears to be that a more moderate position is appropriate.

These long-legged waders mostly have strongly patterned plumage. Although the most familiar northern hemisphere lapwing, Northern Lapwing, has a wispy crest, only two other species do so. Red or yellow facial wattles are a more typical decoration.

A group of lapwings is called a "deceit".

List of species in taxonomic order

  • Red-kneed Dotterel, Erythrogonys cinctus
    Northern Lapwing, Vanellus vanellus
    White-headed Plover, Vanellus albiceps
    Southern Lapwing, Vanellus chilensis
    Grey-headed Lapwing, Vanellus cinereus
    Crowned Lapwing, Vanellus coronatus
    Long-toed Lapwing, Vanellus crassirostris
    River Lapwing or Spur-winged Lapwing, Vanellus duvaucelii
    Red-wattled Lapwing, Vanellus indicus
    Masked Lapwing, Vanellus miles
    Spur-winged Lapwing or Spur-winged Plover, Vanellus spinosus
    Banded Lapwing, Vanellus tricolor
    Blacksmith Lapwing, Vanellus armatus
    Black-headed Lapwing, Vanellus tectus
    Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Vanellus malabaricus
    Senegal Lapwing, Vanellus lugubris
    Black-winged Lapwing, Vanellus melanopterus
    African Wattled Lapwing, Vanellus senegallus
    Spot-breasted Lapwing, Vanellus melanocephalus
    Brown-chested Lapwing, Vanellus superciliosus
    Javanese Wattled Lapwing, Vanellus macropterus
    Sociable Lapwing, Vanellus gregarius
    White-tailed Lapwing, Vanellus leucurus
    Pied Lapwing, Vanellus cayanus
    Andean Lapwing, Vanellus resplendens

Only Northern, Sociable, White-tailed Lapwing, Grey-headed and Brown-chested Lapwings are migratory species.

Spur-winged, Blacksmith, River, Southern, Andean and Pied Lapwings are boldly patterned, red-eyed species with a spurred carpal joint.

Many species have wattles which can be small (Black-headed, Spot-breasted, Red-wattled and Banded Lapwings) or large (White-headed Plover, African Wattled, Yellow-wattled, Javanese Wattled, or Masked Lapwings).

External links

Home | Up | Bucorvinae | Buphaginae | Pseudochelidoninae | Anatinae | Anserinae | Buteoninae | Chordeilinae | Drongo | Euphoniinae | Fantail | Ground-hornbill | Mancallinae | Merginae | Monarchinae | Palaeeudyptinae | Phaethornithinae | Pseudochelidoninae | Rhipidurinae | Saxicolinae | Tadorninae | Vanellinae | Woodcreeper

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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