Latin name: Vanellus vanellus
size: up to 30cm
mass: 200 - 350g
Older: 10 - 20 years
Appearance: white belly plumage, black head and neck area
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Insectivore (insectivore)
distribution: Europe, Asia, North Africa
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: day and night active
habitat: prefers wet meadows
natural enemies: Fox, marten
sexual maturity: with the second year of life
mating season: April June
breeding season: 21 - 28 days
clutch size: 3 - 4 eggs
social behavior: colony forming
Threatened with extinction: Yes
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the lapwing
- The Lapwing or Vanellus vanellus describes its own genus within the plovers and is native to almost all of Europe.
- With a body length of about thirty centimeters, the lapwing is about the size of a pigeon. The plumage appears white on the belly side, black on the back with a metallic green luster. The on the underside brownish tail is short, the wing tips are of rounded form.
- His most striking feature is his dark-colored face with a tapering long plume on the back of his head.
- Lapwings can be detected in the air mainly by the characteristic, slowly fluctuating flight.
- Originally, the lapwing was primarily found in wetlands such as swamps, bogs or grassy pastures. By draining many areas, this species of waders gradually began to thrive in arable and cultivated landscapes, where the lapwing has ideal nesting conditions thanks to dense fields and hiding places.
- However, the lapwing in Europe is one of the highly endangered bird species whose numbers are steadily declining. This is mainly due to the use of pesticides, which means that too few insects are available for the rearing of the young.
- As migratory birds lapwings overwinter in Turkey, in large parts of North Africa and on the Iberian peninsula. Their summer quarters leave many birds already in early summer.
- They feed mainly on insects living in the ground and their larvae as well as earthworms. Their prey attracts lapwings with knocking sounds that they produce with their beaks from the ground. They are also less likely to use vegetable foods such as grains and seeds as food source.
- Lapwings are sexually mature at the age of one, but many birds breed only from the second season. For the breeding season, there are couples who live together in seasonal heights. Lapwings are returning from their winter quarters back to Central and Northern Europe in February.
- The male alone is responsible for building the nest by creating a hollow on the ground in an open plain without strong shrub or tree growth. In March, the female hatches between three and four olive eggs, which are covered with black spots and thus perfectly camouflaged. The breeding season is a maximum of 28 days.
- Immediately after hatching, the earth-colored chicks leave the nest, but in the first few weeks of life they are in the immediate vicinity of the parents feeding them with food. While the females are responsible for the feeding, the male keeps watch.
- When the parents hear a warning call, the chicks flatten themselves flat on the floor, leaving them perfectly camouflaged. Only when all-clear start again to move.
- Young lapwings are airworthy at the age of about forty days.
- The oldest specimens in the wild, whose life was scientifically documented, reached a age of 20 years.