White-crowned lapwing

The white-crowned lapwing, white-headed lapwing, white-headed plover or white-crowned plover (Vanellus albiceps) is a medium-sized wader. It is resident throughout tropical Africa, usually near large rivers.

White-crowned lapwing
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Genus: Vanellus
Species:
V. albiceps
Binomial name
Vanellus albiceps
Gould, 1834
Synonyms

Hoplopterus albiceps (Gould, 1834)
Vanellus albicep (lapsus)
Xiphidiopterus albiceps (Gould, 1834)

Description

This lapwing is unmistakable. Its wings and tail are strikingly patterned in black and white, the back is brown and the underparts white. The head is particularly striking, being mainly grey, but with a white crown and foreneck. The eyering, facial wattles and legs are yellow. Females, males and young birds are similar in plumage.

Behaviour

It is a wader which breeds on exposed sand or shingle near rivers. 2–3 eggs are laid in a ground scrape. The nest and young are defended noisily and aggressively against all intruders, up to and including the hippopotamus.

Food is mainly insects and other small invertebrates. This species often feeds in small flocks when not breeding.

Status

The white-crowned lapwing is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

References

Shorebirds by Hayman, Marchant and Prater ISBN 0-7099-2034-2

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