Blacksmith Lapwing (Vanellus armatus)
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).
- Lapwing videos on the Internet Bird Collection