Vanellus vanellus

Physical characteristics: Northern lapwings have a long black crest, black neckband, green back, and white belly. The face is mostly black with a dark line extending under the eye.

Geographic range: Northern lapwings are found in Europe and Asia.

Habitat: Northern lapwings occupy diverse habitats including grasslands, fields, bogs, and deserts.

Diet: Northern lapwings eat a large number of earthworms as well as other invertebrates. In cold weather, they sometimes eat cattle dung.

Behavior and reproduction: Northern lapwings have been found in flocks of as many as 5,000 individuals, although flocks of about 100 are more common. Northern lapwings are usually monogamous, but there is some polygyny. Females usually lay four eggs at a time. These hatch after twenty-four to thirty-four days. Both parents help

incubate the eggs and take care of chicks, but one of the parents, usually the female, usually deserts the nest before the young actually become independent.

Both northern lapwing parents help incubate the eggs and take care of chicks, but one of the parents, usually the female, typically deserts the nest before the young actually become independent. (Roger Wilmshurst/Bruce Coleman Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

incubate the eggs and take care of chicks, but one of the parents, usually the female, usually deserts the nest before the young actually become independent.

Northern lapwings and people: Northern lapwing eggs were once collected for food in Europe.

Conservation status: The Northern lapwing is not considered threatened. In fact, its breeding range in Europe has expanded in recent times. ■

FOR MORE INFORMATION Books:

del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, and J. Sargatal, eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 3, Hoatzin to Auks. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, 1996.

Perrins, Christopher, ed. Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, 2003.

Vaughan, R. Plovers. Lavenham, U.K.: Terence Dalton Limited, 1980.

Web sites:

"Charadriidae (Lapwings and Plovers)." The Internet Bird Collection. http://www.hbw.com/ibc/phtml/familia.phtml?idFamilia=60 (accessed on May 6, 2004).

"Family Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)." Animal Diversity Web, The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. http://animaldiversity. ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/classification/Charadriidae. html#Charadriidae (accessed on May 6, 2004).

"Plovers, Lapwings." Bird Families of the World, Cornell University. http://www.es.cornell.edu/winkler/botw/charadriidae.html (accessed on May 6, 2004).

SANDPIPERS Scolopacidae

Class: Aves Order: Charadriiformes Family: Scolopacidae Number of species: 86 species

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