Monday, 8 December 2014

Banded lapwing

Vanellus tricolor

Photo by Bruce Thomson (Flickr)

Common name:
banded lapwing (en); abibe-tricolor (pt); vanneau tricolore (fr); avefría tricolor (es); schwarzbandkiebitz (de)

Order Charadriiformes
Family Charadriidae

This species is found throughout most of Australia, including Tasmania, only being absent from the northernmost parts of Queensand, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

These birds are 25-29 cm long and have a wingspan of 61-67 cm. They weigh 150-200 g.

The banded lapwing is found in short, sparsely covered dry grasslands and pastures, open dry savannas and arable land.

They hunt various insects, worms, spiders, snails and slugs, as well as taking seeds and other vegetable matter.

Banded lapwings can breed all year round, usually after rains. The nest is a scrape on the ground, lined with dry grass and even sheep droppings, where the female lays 3-5 brownish yellow to pale olive brown eggs with dark brown and dusky blotches. The eggs are incubated by both parents for 28 days. The chicks leave the nest within 1-2 days of hatching, being fed and protected by both parents for several weeks. Each pair can raise 1-2 broods per year.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 27.000 individuals. The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the extent of threats to the species, but a decline apparently took place in the east of their range over the last 3 decades.

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