1436. Vanellus vulgaris.
The Lapwing or Peewit.
Tringa vanellus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 248 (1766). Vanellus vulgaris, Bechst. Orn. Tuschenb. ii, p. 313 (1803); Dresser, B. Eur. vii, p. 545, pl. 531; Hume, Cat. no. 851; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 94; Scully, ibid. p. 587; Reid, S. F. x, p. 65; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 332; St. John, Ibis, 1889, p. 176. Vanellus cristatus, Wolf & Meyer, Naturg. Voy. Deutschl. i, p. 110 (1805) ; Blyth, Cat. p. 261; Irby, Ibis, 1861, p. 238 ; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 643; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 70; Hume Henders. Lah. to Turk. p. 286; Hume, S. F. i, p. 231 ; Adam, ibid. p. 394 ; Butler, S. F. vii, p. 186; C. H. T. Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p. 423 ; Seebohm, Charadr. p. 210. Vanellus vanellus, Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 166.
Coloration. In winter the crown is dark brown, passing into black on the crest; sides of face and supercilia, sides of neck, chin, throat, and fore neck white, tinged with buff and more or less speckled and blotched with blackish; back, rump, and tertiaries glossy olive-green, some of the feathers generally with fulvous edges; scapulars brighter green, passing at their tips into bronze-red and lilac; wing-coverts darker and bluer than back; primaries and secondaries black or blackish, the tips of the first 4 or 5 primaries whitish, passing into ashy brown, bases of the secondaries white; upper tail-coverts cinnamon; tail white for more than the basal half, then black, with narrow white tips ; upper breast black ; lower breast, abdomen, axillaries, and inner under wing-coverts white ; lower tail-coverts pale dull rufous.
In spring the fulvous edges on the upper plumage disappear, and the crown, sides of face in front of the eye, and a patch beneath the eye, with the chin, throat, fore neck, and upper breast, become black.
Bill black; irides hazel-brown; legs orange-brown (Jerdon).
Length 12; tail 4.1; wing 8.75 ; tarsus 2 ; bill from gape 1.2.
Distribution. Throughout Europe and temperate Asia ; a winter visitor to both coasts of the Mediterranean, to many parts of South-western Asia, and to North-western India. The Lapwing occurs in winter in Gilgit, Kashmir, the Punjab, and as far east as Oudh, and throughout Sind, where however it is not common. It has been said to breed in the Punjab, but the accuracy of the statement is doubtful.
Habits, &c. The common Lapwing is a highly gregarious bird, collecting in winter in large flocks, which are chiefly found about marshy ground, and which feed in fields or meadows. It lives chiefly on worms, and on insects and their larvae, and is eatable in the cold season, though far inferior to Golden Plover. Its call of Fee-wit is well known, and also its habit of tumbling about in the air. The eggs are the well-known " Plover's eggs."