Monday, 22 December 2014

Day 51 - Laudable Lapwings

Hi all today's Day 51 and I have a bird for you today that I see a lot of round where I live (North Yorkshire.)  If you haven't guessed already (to do so would require a lot of guess work) it is the Lapwing. Lapwings are beautiful birds, as you can see from the picture, with their black and white plumage so I'm glad I see a lot of them. Their flight and calls are also impressive. Anyway, I might as well get on with the facts so here they are:
Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) in reeds

  • Lapwings have a nickname which is the 'peewit'. This is because of its call which consists of (you guessed it) a 'peewit' like sound. This is a very distinctive call. Click here to hear this distinctive call. Its proper name, the lapwing, refers to its flight which quivers an awful lot.
  • The males flight is even more impressive when courting when it will perform aerobatics like twists, turns and somersaults trying to impress the females.
  • Even though there is 140,000 breeding pairs and 650,000 birds wintering it has a red status because of the severe declines it has suffered over the last few years.
  • Declines are linked to the loss of its habitat, damp grassland mainly, due to changes in the way land is farmed.
  • Its black and white appearance along with its round wing shape in flight make it a very distinctive bird in the air and on the ground. This bird also has a very short beak some long feathers on the back of its head.
  • The lapwing is 30cm long with a 84cm wingspan. Both male and female lapwings weigh 230g. 
  • Lapwing feeding habits are unlike most birds. They eat invertebrates from the ground (e.g. worms.) A lot of birds eat these but unlike these birds lapwings feed at night especially when the moon is bright. Imagine how many there would be when there's a supermoon.
  • The lapwing has lots of nicknames: as I mentioned earlier, the 'peewit', the 'flopwing' and the two that I have no idea where the name comes from, the 'green plover' and the 'hornpie'
  • The longest a lapwing has ever lived is 21 years 1 month and 15 days. This record was set in 1987.
  • Lapwing chicks are normally know for being able to run around moments after being hatched!  
Here are some links to more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


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