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Spur-winged Lapwing

The Spur-winged Lapwing or Spur-winged Plover (Vanellus spinosus) is a species of wading bird in the family Charadriidae. It is found in the eastern Mediterranean and in a wide area from sub-Saharan west Africa to Arabia. Populations from Greece and Turkey are migratory, while the others are mainly resident. It is declining in the northern part of its range, but is abundant in most of tropical Africa. The Spur-winged Plover is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

The Spur-winged Lapwing of southern Australia is a separate species, and to avoid confusion it has been renamed Masked Lapwing. The Spur-winged Lapwing of southeast Asia is also a separate species, and is now called River Lapwing.

The Spur-winged Lapwing is a readily noticeable and striking bird. It is medium-large with a black crown, chest, foreneck stripe and tail. The face, rest of the neck and belly are white. The wings and back are light brown. Both the bill and the legs are black. Hidden in each wing is a small claw (spur). This noisy bird has a loud did-he-do-it call.

The diet of the Spur-winged Lapwing consists of insects and other invertebrates, which are picked off the ground. The female lays two blotchy yellowish eggs on a scrape on the ground. The adult is known to sometimes use its wing-claws to attack and ward off animals and, rarely, people, who get too close to the nest and the offspring.

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Spur-winged Lapwing


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