Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, adult, female in breeding habitat pasture, Northumberland


This is one of the largest groups within the ‘waders’ or shorebirds. They have quite short to long legs, but short bills; feed with characteristic run-stop-tilt forward action on areas of open sand, mud, shingle, bare earth or short turf.

Lapwings have broad, rounded wings, plovers have pointed wings. Plovers may be separated into smaller groups, including the ‘ringed’ plovers (several species worldwide, two in the UK) and the ‘golden’ type, with spangled upperparts and extensive areas of black beneath in breeding plumages. Many are long-distance migrants and several can be found in large flocks on dry ground, well away from water.