Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)


  • Species name: Lapwing
  • Scientific name: Vanellus vanellus
  • Family: Charadriidae (Plovers)
  • Order: Charadriiformes (Gulls, auks, skuas)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Medium-sized plover, about 30-33 cm (12-13 in) long with a wingspan of 67-77 cm (26-30 in).
  • Body shape: Slender and graceful, with long legs, a long, slightly downcurved beak, and a long, forked tail (often drooping in flight).
  • Plumage color:

Males: Striking black head, neck, and breast, contrasting with their white underparts and chestnut back. Long, black crest extends from the back of the head.

Females: Duller overall compared to males, with less defined black markings and a shorter crest.

Long, slightly downcurved beak, black in color.

Long, pink or yellow legs.

Dark brown eyes.


  • Method of feeding: Forages on the ground, probing the soil with their beaks for insects, worms, and other small invertebrates. Also picks up food items from the surface.
  • Reproduction: Builds simple nests on the ground, often in open fields or wetlands. Lays 3-4 pale brown eggs with dark markings. Both parents care for the young.

Famous for their elaborate distraction displays during breeding season, including loud calls, dives, and acrobatic flights, to lure predators away from their nests.

  • Movement: Migratory in many parts of their range, breeding in Europe and Asia and wintering in Africa and southern Asia. Some populations resident.
  • Communication: Loud, piercing calls, including the characteristic "peewit" cry. Males have a more complex song during breeding season.


  • Habitat: Open grasslands, farmland, wetlands, marshes, and shores. Prefers open spaces with low vegetation.
  • Diet: Insects, worms, other small invertebrates, and some seeds.
  • Hunting methods: Forages on the ground, probing the soil with their beaks or picking up food items from the surface. May also catch insects in mid-air during flight.

Distribution: Widespread across Europe, Asia, and Africa. Also introduced to New Zealand.


The Lapwing, a feathered ballerina soaring across fields and wetlands, might seem like a graceful dancer at first glance. But beneath its black and white plumage and acrobatic displays lies a treasure trove of surprising facts and adaptations that will transform this sky artist into a captivating avian acrobat, champion defender, and unexpected trickster in your eyes.

Masters of the Aerial Ballet: Forget clumsy hops; Lapwings reign supreme in the domain of open skies. Their broad wings and graceful dips and dives paint mesmerizing patterns against the clouds, weaving a mesmerizing aerial waltz. Imagine them as feathered figure skaters with built-in miniature hot air balloons.

Hidden Feasting Technique: Don't underestimate their hunting prowess! Lapwings are expert insectivores, using their long, sensitive bills to probe the ground for worms, grubs, and even small crustaceans. They run, hop, and even hover mid-air, their bills scanning like feathered metal detectors, unearthing hidden treats in the most unexpected places.

Unexpected Defenders of the Nest: They're not just graceful dancers. Lapwings are fierce protectors of their nests, employing an arsenal of distraction tactics to confuse predators and lure them away from their vulnerable chicks. From elaborate broken-wing displays to fake feeding cries, their theatrical performances are both captivating and effective. Think of them as feathered magicians with built-in miniature smoke and mirrors.

Singing with Personality: Their calls aren't just chirps and whistles. Lapwings possess a diverse and expressive repertoire, with piercing alarm calls, playful greeting whistles, and even a unique "peewit" vocalization that echoes across the open plains. Imagine them as feathered jazz vocalists with built-in miniature sound effect libraries, serenading the skies with their vibrant personalities.

Symbiotic Symphony: Lapwings play a vital role in the ecosystem. By controlling insect populations, they help maintain a healthy balance in fields and wetlands, contributing to the thriving tapestry of life in these diverse habitats. These feathered pest controllers are crucial threads in the web of ecological stability.

Cultural Charmers: In many cultures, the Lapwing is associated with renewal, hope, and the spirit of the open landscapes. Its graceful aerial displays and piercing calls inspire awe and admiration, making it a treasured symbol of the region's boundless skies and unyielding resilience.

Unexpected Regional Variations: Did you know? Not all Lapwings are the same! Different populations across Europe and Asia boast subtle variations in plumage color and call patterns, adding a touch of feathered diversity to this adaptable species.